2023 Panel Discussion: Holistic Sustainable Design for Lighting

Alexandra Gadawski, HMFH Architects; Jaime McGavin, HMFH Architects; Christoph Reinhart, Solemma and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

March 8, 2023

1:00pm – 2:30pm EST

Room Location: Murray Hill

Credits: 1.5 LU / HSW

Designers need to carefully consider how to integrate artificial and natural lighting in ways that support the larger sustainability and design goals of a project and increase occupant wellbeing. A standardized workflow can support the achievement of these goals. The session will cover a design workflow that holistically incorporates sustainable lighting design. All projects should begin by identifying the design, educational and sustainability goals of the building users and the community. A public school case study will outline a goals setting framework, and demonstrate how this workflow can be put into practice.

Participants should have knowledge of terminology and metrics associated with lighting design.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss design goals through the lenses of human, climate and ecosystem health, social health and equity, and the circular economy to ensure that the health of building occupants, as well as the larger public, is prioritized.
  2. Facilitate a visioning charrette, set concrete targets, determine tracking metrics, and convey goals to clients and the project team.
  3. Implement a sustainable design workflow which incorporates quantitative analysis, starting at feasibility and continuing through construction administration.
  4. Analyze design decisions through efficient workflow and describe analysis tools and simulation types that can be used to facilitate the sustainable design goals established by the team.


Alexandra Gadawski
Associate, HMFH Architects

Alexandra Gadawski WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C is an architect and sustainability leader at HMFH Architects, where her passion for building performance and knowledge of lighting design has made her crucial to projects at every stage. Providing integral support to project teams, Ms. Gadawski uses her skillsets to push sustainable initiatives and assist in problem solving for complex designs. Her commitment to promoting student wellness is reflected in her daylight and energy modelling, as well as her research into healthy material options.

With a background in energy consumption and voluntary building standards, Ms. Gadawski holds a Master of Science in Environmental Design of Buildings from Cardiff University in Wales and a Master of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is involved with Illuminating Engineering Society as a board member of the IES Boston and Rhode Island Section, and Co-Chair of the IES Sustainable Lighting Committee.

Jaime McGavin
Architectural Designer, HMFH Architects

Jaime McGavin, LEED AP BD+C is an architectural designer at HMFH Architects, an educational design firm based in Cambridge, MA. With nine years of experience and a focus on healthy, sustainable design, she advances initiatives within the firm to help projects achieve high performance standards, most recently developing a workflow to analyze the carbon impact of HMFH buildings using Tally and working toward a net-zero energy goal for the new Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School project. Ms. McGavin holds a B.S. in Architecture and a M. Arch. from Roger Williams University.

Christoph Reinhart
Building Scientist, Solemma and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Christoph Reinhart is a building scientist and architectural educator working in the field of sustainable building design and environmental modeling. At MIT, he is the Director of the Building Technology Program and head of the Sustainable Design Lab (SDL), an inter-disciplinary group with a grounding in architecture that develops design workflows, planning tools and metrics to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings and neighborhoods. He is also a managing member at Solemma, a technology company and Harvard. Planning tools originating from SDL and Solemma – such as ClimateStudio, UMI and mapdwell – are used in practice and education in over 90 countries.


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