Keynote Speakers

Assoc. Prof. Andrea RIEGER-JANDL, Austria

Building with Earth - towards a circular built environment -

Andrea RIEGER-JANDL is an Associate Professor at the Institute for the History of Art, Building Research and Preservation at the Faculty of Architecture, TU Wien and the vice dean of the Faculty of Architecture. She received her degree in architecture from TU Wien, and her PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Vienna and she holds a venia docendi for cross-cultural research on architecture. As an architect and anthropologist, she focuses her research on identity-formation processes and on architecture in the socio-cultural context. 

Her research and teaching concentrate on vernacular architecture, earthen architecture, and building in the developing context and she believes in hands-on work, participatory processes and multi-disciplinary collaboration. She is chair of the Austrian Earth Building Network (Netzwerk Lehm) and a board member of the Institute for Comparative Research on Architecture (ICRA).

Prof. h.a. Dominique Gauzin-Müller, France/Germany

Biobased and geobased materials: the winning duo of ecological architecture 


We must quickly and collectively change practices that have led to the dangerous global warming. In the building sector, the use of biobased and geobased materials offers virtuous solutions. Some have been proven for centuries, others are being invented today. This keynote lecture will testify to the potential of these materials through the example of the finalists of the TERRAFIBRA Award, the world's prize for contemporary architecture in earth and plant fibers. It will show off the commitment of pioneering teams building with various biobased materials (hemp, straw, reed, bamboo) and earth techniques (adobe, rammed earth, cob, CEB). Those inspiring examples demonstrate that it’s possible to build differently, relying on local resources and know-how without giving up innovation. Anchored in their territory, these frugal and creative architectures open new horizons for construction and renovation.


A French architect living in Germany since 1986, Dominique Gauzin-Müller works since 40 years on the multiple facets of sustainable architecture and planning: materials, energy, social and cultural implications. She has published 23 books, and curated several exhibitions. She initiated the TERRA+FIBRA Award, world's prize for contemporary architecture in earth and plant fibers. She is

Honorary Associate Professor of the UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture and lectures in several universities around the world. She is a member of the French Academie d’Architecture and co-initiator of the Movement for a happy and creative frugality in architecture and planning. She prepares a PHD at the LRA of the ENSA Toulouse.

Prof. Dominique DEROME, Canada

Wood, used for millennia, fit for the future

Hygro-thermo-mechanical behavior of wood polymers, studied at molecular scale and upscaling to wood scale

Wood is a natural material used abundantly in buildings over ages, showing that builders have had a strong insight in the use of the material. Open questions remain such as ‘How come wood, a moisture-sensitive material can do so well under varying climatic loading?’ I will discuss how wood cellular structure and composite behavior of cell wall both play a role in moisture management, i.e. the storage and transport of moisture during wetting and drying. In case of contact with water, wood cellular structure leads to efficient liquid distribution, thus spreading the moisture. As water molecules are adsorbed into the hydrophilic matrix in the cell walls, the induced fluid-solid interaction forces result in swelling. The interaction of the composite polymeric material with water is known to weaken its mechanical structure, make it moisture sensitive and influence its physical properties. However, this same material, under moderate cycling RH conditions, displays hygro-mechanical stability, a hysteretic feature that is long known in museology. It will be shown that the durability of wood exposed to different environmental loading depends on its intrinsic properties.

Dominique Derome is professor at the Department of civil and building engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada, and holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair tier 1 in Multiscale Building Physics. She looks at heat and mass transfer processes in the built environment, the related impacts on durability of materials (namely wood) and on thermal comfort and its inhabitants. Her research proposes innovative and multiscale approaches of the highly coupled physical processes that occur in the built environment, intensively integrating advanced computational and experimental methods. This multidisciplinary research leads to solutions developed for a sustainable living environment, resilient in the face of climate change, possible higher risks of heat waves and impacts on the urban environment. Previously she was for 11 years senior scientist in Switzerland and 10 years professor at Concordia University, Canada. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Building Physics. 

Prof. Benjamin KROMOSER, Austria

New Digital Design and Automated Production Approaches to Foster Sustainability and a Real Circular-Economy in Building Construction  

Prof. Benjamin KROMOSER was appointed as a research associate from 2012-2015 and 2015-2018 (as Postdoc) at the TU Wien, Institute for Structural Engineering and spent in 2016 6 months as a guest researcher at the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design at the University of Stuttgart. Since 2014 he works as a self-employed structural engineer and developer. In 2018 he was appointed as a full Professor for Biobased Design and since 2022 for Sustainable Building Construction at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU). He is a speaker at the doctoral school BUILD.NATURE and head and founder of the new Institute for Green Civil Engineering at BOKU Vienna. 

His main research focus lies on resource-efficient structural engineering with a focus on structural optimization, dimensioning, experimental testing and automated production methods as well as Life-Cycle Assessment and Circular Economy.

Prof. Anne VENTURA, France 

Life Cycle Assessment: understand key issues concerning bio-based materials 

Bio-based materials are considered as a solution to face the stake of climate change. Indeed, plant-based products are considered beneficial because they absorb CO2 from the air through photosynthesis, and those used in construction are usually derived from agricultural by-products in a circular economy logic. My purpose is to explain why these intuitive benefits do not always correspond to reality. Both by commenting on common climate change indicator and its dynamic aspects, and by explaining how circular economy solutions encounter important and sometimes difficult to control limitations when implemented. LCA itself, in its current prescriptive form, does not adequately assess these issues. I will therefore conclude by opening up a new LCA method, called "transition LCA", which allows for better modelling and assessment of these issues.

Anne VENTURA is a research director (equivalent professor) at University Gustave Eiffel. Her activity is centred on (Life Cycle Assessment) LCA methodology for 20 years. She has been developing new ways to conduct LCA by relating LCA models to biophysical and process engineering models, by integrating actor’s decisions perimeters and action levers, and local considerations such as resource availability. These improvements allow to help groups of stakeholders to conceive development strategies aiming trustable environmental improvements. The recently completed CARBOVAL research project, for which Anne VENTURA designed and supervised the LCA task, was awarded two prizes: the "Best Academic Innovation" prize at the ClubCO2 Innovation Trophies in 2021, and the "Prix Jeunes de la Société de l'Industrie Minérale 2022" in the "Researcher" category for Eva Quéheille's postdoctoral work on LCA modelling and decision support for a nickel slag recovery process par carbon capture, in New Caledonia. 

Assoc. Prof. Junjie LI, China

High performance-low carbon buildings: Green and renewable energy applications in constructions   

Dr. Junjie Li is Associate Professor in School of Architecture and Design, Beijing Jiaotong University, Deputy Director of Architecture Department. She is an academic Guest Professor at the Chair of Sustainable Construction from December 2022 to December 2023 in ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Her social posts include LEED AP(USGBC), AH AP Diploma, member of the green building and energy conservation committee of China GBC, member of the green building theory and practice group, member of the DTSA-SPSD international academic committee, and reviewer of several international SCI journals.


Her research interests include sustainable building technology, green building design and construction, high performance-low carbon buildings, net-zero energy house, climate adaptive design.