Nader Chalfoun

Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Environmental Sciences


  • Architecture
  • School of Architecture
Nader Chalfoun

Areas of Expertise

  • Building simulation and design
  • Energy code and compliance
  • Net-Zero environmental design
  • Outdoor thermal comfort
  • Urban heat island mitigation design


"In the last decade, earth's energy consumption averaged about 400 quadrillion (400x1015) Kilowatt-hours per year, and is anticipated to be three to four times greater. It is vital to consider renewable resources which are clean, cost nothing beyond initial harnessing and maintenance, and which cannot be used up. These resources can help meet world's energy needs while mitigate the negative environmental impact of traditional non-renewable sources.

As an architect, engineer, educator, and as a human being concerned about the quality of life of people from all levels of society, my focus is on environmental sciences from teaching the fundamentals, to energy conservation methods and passive solar design, and their implementation in a sustainable and climate-responsive green architecture for the future. My research extends to developing methodologies of assessment and design of thermally comfortable outdoor spaces to provide amenable communities and social gathering spaces while providing solution to the urban ecology problems of our time."

Nader Chalfoun, PhD LEED© AP, CEA
Nader Chalfoun, full professor, received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona's Arid Lands Resource Sciences program in 1989, Master of Architecture from the University of Arizona's College of Architecture in 1985, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cairo University College of Engineering, Architecture Department in 1972. He is a LEED© Accredited professional active in the U.S. Green Building Council. Dr. Chalfoun teaches environmental control systems, design studios with focus on sustainable and green architecture, advanced elective courses on energy conservation, passive solar systems and computer simulation for thermal performance optimization of buildings. Dr. Chalfoun developed and directs The House Energy Doctor program (an award-winning best energy education and outreach program in Pima County) and coordinate the graduate program in "Design and Energy Conservation."

Dr. Chalfoun published several papers, articles, text and electronic books nationally and internationally. He was awarded many national and federal grants. He designed environmentally focused projects around the world and served on various local and international committees. He has one patent, several teaching and research awards and two professional registrations. Dr. Chalfoun is previous owner of a prominent architectural consulting and services firm overseas.

Research/Creative Activities:
Nader Chalfoun is interested in working with students pursuing small- or large-scale sustainable designs that emphasize the use of applied research in the field of energy conservation, passive and active solar technologies, advanced building envelope systems, and intelligent use of materials. Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the basic concepts of human physiological comfort and sensorial threshholds regarding environmental factors (i.e., humidity, temperature, wind, luminosity, etc.) as well as the performance of ecological and sustainable designs. Projects might be enriched by special attention to the provision of thermally comfortable outdoor spaces and landscape designs within specific climatic contexts. As an option, designs can be justified and rationalized through the use of computer simulation, empirical instrumentations, data acquisition systems, and in laboratory testing.

News, Research and Projects