Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

About Philip Oldfield

Dr. Philip Oldfield is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design Department of Built Environment, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. At UNSW Philip coordinates the Architecture and High Performance Technology stream in the Masters in Architecture course, while also running a graduate studio exploring hyper-density and tall building design.

Prior to joining UNSW, Philip was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. At Nottingham he was the co-creator and Course Director of the Masters Course in Sustainable Tall Buildings – the world’s only course and qualification dedicated to the design and research of high-rise architecture. In addition, he has taught tall building studio and lecture modules at universities in Venice and Singapore.…


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About Philip Oldfield

Dr. Philip Oldfield is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design Department of Built Environment, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. At UNSW Philip coordinates the Architecture and High Performance Technology stream in the Masters in Architecture course, while also running a graduate studio exploring hyper-density and tall building design.

Prior to joining UNSW, Philip was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. At Nottingham he was the co-creator and Course Director of the Masters Course in Sustainable Tall Buildings – the world’s only course and qualification dedicated to the design and research of high-rise architecture. In addition, he has taught tall building studio and lecture modules at universities in Venice and Singapore. Studio output produced by Philip’s students has been published widely, and achieved success in international competitions such as the CTBUH Student Design Competition, Evolo, Tata Steel Student Design Competition and the Isover Multi-Comfort House Competition.

Philip is an active member of the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). He is Co-Chair of the CTBUH Research, Academic, and Postgraduate Working Group and a member of the Competitions Committee. Philip has sat on the Editorial Board for the quarterly CTBUH Journal, in addition to serving on the Scientific / Peer Review Committee for the CTBUH 8th World Congress: 'Tall & Green: Typology for a Sustainable Urban Future', held in Dubai, March, 2008.

Philip’s research interests are focused primarily on tall buildings, sustainability and architectural design. He is the author of the upcoming book The Sustainable Tall Building: A Design Primer, due to be published by Taylor & Francis in 2017. In addition, his current research activities include;

• Vertical Public Realms: The Design and Experience of Social / Public Spaces in the Sky

• Closing the Loop: Development of an Evidence-Based Framework for Low Carbon Design of Non-Residential Buildings

• Design quality of residential apartments in NSW

Philip writes widely around the topics of tall building design and sustainability and has had peer-reviewed papers published in the Journal of Architecture, Architectural Science Review and Urbanism and Architecture. He is also a regular contributor to the media, and in 2015 was awarded a funded British Science Association Media Fellowship to spend time working with the Guardian Newspaper, alongside the science and environment teams. He has written a number of articles for the Guardian and for the Architects’ Journal (UK), The Conversation (UK), Urban Design Journal (UK), Middle East Construction Magazine (UAE), STRUCTURE Magazine (USA), and BbICOTHbIE (Russia) amongst others. His other work in the media includes presenting a segment on BBC 1's Inside/Out on future housing in the UK.

CTBUH Involvement

  • Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee (2016 – Present)
  • Expert Peer Review Committee (2014 – Present)
  • Tall Building Academic & Teaching Committee (2018 – Present)
  • Working Group: Passivhaus, Chair (2017 – Present)
  • Past Roles:
  • CTBUH Staff, Research Associate (2007 – 2011)
  • Working Group: Research Academic and Postgraduate, Co-Chair (2010 – 2014)
  • Annual Conference, Presenter (Dubai 2008; Mumbai 2010; Shanghai 2012)
  • Annual Conference, Session Chair (Shanghai 2014)
  • Annual Conference, Steering Committee (Australia 2017)
  • CTBUH Journal, Editorial Board (2008 – 2014)
  • International Research Seed Funding, Peer Review Panel (2012, 2013)
  • Student Competition First-Round Jury (2011, 2012, 2014)
  • Research Seed Funding Jury – Final Selection (2015)

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Events/Initiatives Involving Philip Oldfield

CTBUH Leaders Connect at 2017 Conference

29 Oct 2017, Event Report – The Annual Leaders Meeting was held the day before the start of the CTBUH 2017…

Executive Director Visits Sydney and Melbourne

6-10 Mar 2017, Event Report – CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood traveled to Sydney and Melbourne to build…

CTBUH 'UH'PDATE October 2016

4 Oct 2016, CTBUH News – The fourth issue of CTBUH 'UH'PDATE provides information on some of the early…

Events/Initiatives Involving Philip Oldfield

CTBUH Leaders Connect at 2017 Conference
29 Oct 2017, Sydney – Event Report
The Annual Leaders Meeting was held the day before the start of the CTBUH 2017 Australia Conference, bringing together the Council’s leaders.
Executive Director Visits Sydney and Melbourne
6-10 Mar 2017, Sydney – Event Report
CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood traveled to Sydney and Melbourne to build support for the 2017 conference through meetings and lectures.
CTBUH 'UH'PDATE October 2016
4 Oct 2016, Toronto – CTBUH News
The fourth issue of CTBUH 'UH'PDATE provides information on some of the early events and studies of the Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee.
Debating Tall: Modular as Homogenizing Force?
28 Jan 2016, Chicago – CTBUH Journal Paper
In the CTBUH 2016 Journal Issue I, two experts debate on the impact that modular construction will have in cities and whether it shall be used in all future skyscrapers.
Does London Need Tall Buildings?
7 Oct 2015, London – Event Report
The CTBUH UK Chapter hosted a successful panel discussion posing the question "Does London need tall buildings?" at Grimshaw's Clerkenwell studio.
CTBUH Accredits Cardiff University Course
Aug 2015, Cardiff – Tour Report
A new course at Cardiff University focusing on the sustainable analysis and design of "mega-buildings" has been accredited by the CTBUH.
Philip Oldfield Gives Talk on Rethinking the Tall Building
20 Feb 2015, Chicago – Event Report
Dr. Philip Oldfield delivered a presentation on "Rethinking the Tall Building: Opportunities in the 21st Century Metropolis" as part of the ongoing IIT Cloud Talk series.
Considering the Whole Life Cycle Workshop, Shanghai 2014
16 Sep 2014, Shanghai – Event Report
This session brought building environmental performance issues to the forefront in building design, a field that has been criticized in the past for its resource-heavy construction.
Activity at the CTBUH London Conference: Day Two
12 Jun 2013, London – Conference Activity
See the highlights from the second day of the CTBUH 2013 London Conference including The Shard Networking Reception.
Activity at the CTBUH London Conference: Day One
11 Jun 2013, London – Conference Activity Report
See the highlights from the first day of the CTBUH 2013 London Conference including the Opening Plenary and Conference Dinner.
Executive Director Visits University of Nottingham
Dec 2012, Nottingham – Tour Report
The University of Nottingham welcomed Executive Director Antony Wood to meet the students, view their latest work and to discuss the development of the Masters Course in Sustainable Tall Buildings.
Research, Academic and Postgraduate Workshop, Shanghai
18 Sep 2012, Shanghai – Event Report
The assembly of the CTBUH Research, Academic and Postgraduate Working Group in Shanghai was the fifth official meeting of group since it formed in Venice in June, 2010.
Venice Workshop Explores "Tall on the Water"
3-13 Jul 2012, Venice – Event Report
More than 50 students from eight countries participated this month in the IUAV University of Venice's second annual Venice Tall Building Workshop, Tall on the Water.
2011 CTBUH Leaders Meeting
9 Oct 2011, Seoul – Event Report
Tall building industry leaders from around the globe met at the seminal Dongbu Financial Center tower for the 2011 CTBUH Leaders Meeting.
CTBUH Accredits University of Nottingham 2011 Masters Course
19 Jul 2011, Nottingham – Event Report
The University of Nottingham welcomed CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood as part of the annual CTBUH accreditation of the Masters Course in Sustainable Tall Buildings.
University of Nottingham Visit
Jul 2011, Nottingham – Tour Report
The University of Nottingham, Department of Architecture and Built Environment, welcomed CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood on Tuesday July 19th.
ISOVER Multi-Comfort-House Student Contest
18-21 May 2011, Nottingham – Event Report
The 2011 Isover Competition focused on the creative approach in the concept of energy efficient construction for high-rise buildings.
Korean Supertall Technologies Research Project
Apr 2011, Seoul – CTBUH Research
The Council has secured research project funding from Korea as part of the establishment of its new research division.
Research Roadmap Collaboration
Dec 2010, Chicago – CTBUH News
CIB, CTBUH and UNESCO are pleased to announce the formation of an international working group to deliver a ‘Roadmap’ on the research needs of buildings.
Research Working Group Meeting, Chicago
21 Oct 2010, Chicago – Event Report
The Research Working Group met to discuss the planned activities and strategies to move forward with multiple initiatives.
CTBUH Research Meeting, Venice
17-18 Jun 2010, Venice – Event Report
The inaugural meeting of its Research, Academic & Postgraduate Working Group attracted much attention from both academia and industry.
CTBUH Accredits New Masters in Tall Buildings Course at the UoN
Jun 2010, Nottingham – Event Report
The CTBUH have accredited the newly established 'Masters in Sustainable Tall Buildings' architectural course at the University of Nottingham.
Dharavi
4 Feb 2010, Mumbai – Tour Report
India’s largest slum, Dharavi, lies on prime property right in the middle of India's financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay). It is home to more than a million people.
CTBUH to Play Accreditation Role in New Nottingham Masters Course
Jan 2010, Nottingham – Event Report
The course, coordinated by Philip Oldfield and David Nicholson-Cole at the University of Nottingham, explores the sustainable design of tall buildings.
2009 Mock Firms Competition
8 May 2009, Chicago – Event
CTBUH staff Antony Wood, Jan Klerks and Philip Oldfield were involved in the reviews of the "Mock Firms National Skyscraper Challenge" organized by Chicago Architecture Today.
Tall & Green: The Remaking of Mumbai - Final Reviews
7 May 2009, Chicago – Event Report
The culmination of a semester of intense work for the students and tutors involved in the CTBUH-IIT ‘Tall & Green: The Remaking of Mumbai’ advanced architectural studio.
Tall Buildings and Sustainability Working Group Update
Oct 2008, Chicago – CTBUH News
The Working Group have announced the chapter plan for a 200-page, richly illustrated book, entitled the ‘CTBUH Guide to Sustainabilty for Tall Buildings in Urban Environments’.
Sustainability Working Group - 2nd Meeting
2 Oct 2008, Chicago – Event Report
Discussions at this meeting centered on the creation of a significant new publication “The CTBUH Guide to Sustainability for Tall Buildings in Urban Environments.”
CTBUH Tall Buildings and Sustainability Working Group Meeting
1 Aug 2008, Chicago – Event Report
The meeting took place on August 1st, at the LEED Platinum rated Chicago Center for Green Technology and was attended by some of the world’s leading experts on tall buildings.

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Philip Oldfield Related Resources

Rethinking the Tall Building: Opportunities in the 21st Century Metropolis

20 Feb 2015 – CTBUH Leader Presentations & Meetings
Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham

Embodied Carbon and High-Rise

21 Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai
Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham

Track 24: Carbon, Construction & Deconstruction Q & A

21 Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai
Presentation Questions & Answers

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The Role of Design Competitions In Shaping Sydney’s Public Realm

30 Oct 2017 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue IV
Helen Lochhead & Philip Oldfield, University of New South Wales

Improving Energy Performance In Gulf-Region Residential High-Rises

8 Aug 2017 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue III
Noura Ghabra & Dr. Lucelia Rodrigues, University of Nottingham; Dr. Philip Oldfield, The University of New South Wales

A “Fabric-First” Approach to Sustainable Tall Building Design

Jun 2017 – International Journal of High-Rise Buildings Volume 6 Number 2
Philip Oldfield, University of New South Wales

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Press/Media Related to Philip Oldfield

CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member Weighs in on Melbourne’s Developing Skyline
Melbourne, Australia – CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member Philip Oldfield weighed in on the future of Melbourne's developing skyline, focusing particularly on…
CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member Discusses Successful Strategies for Developing Taller Buildings
Sydney, Australia – CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member Philip Oldfield discusses some of the ways that 300-plus-meter towers can be designed and built in a…
Impact of Proposed Building Height Regulations Discussed by CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member
Melbourne, Australia – CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member Philip Oldfield discusses his thoughts in an interview with news.com.au on the impact that newly…
CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member Critiques
, Australia – The Conversation featured a piece by CTBUH Expert Review Committee Member Philip Oldfield, who critiques the Australian skyscraper.…
Philip Oldfield Puts the Global Tall Building Boom Into Perspective
, – TBS eFM Primetime interviews Research, Academic and Postgraduate Working Group Chair Philip Oldfield, who explains the drivers behind the…
The WSJ on the Global Love Affair with Tall Buildings
, Opinion: The Wall Street Journal – A recent article from The Wall Street Journal explores contemporary tall buildings and the resurgence of skyscraper construction. Beginning…

Read more: Global Tall Building News / CTBUH in the Media Articles

Philip Oldfield Related Videos

Rethinking the Tall Building: Opportunities in the 21st Century Metropolis
20 Feb 2015 – CTBUH Leader Presentations & Meetings; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
Philip Oldfield, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Nottingham University, presents at a joint CTBUH/IIT Cloud Talk in Crown Hall on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus. His presentation covered the opportunities to make tall buildings…
Embodied Carbon and High-Rise
21 Sep 2012 – Presentation at CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
This presentation examines the significance of embodied energy and carbon in tall buildings. It presents the life-cycle carbon analysis (including both operational and embodied emissions) of a 40-story building in London, UK and concludes by…
Track 24: Carbon, Construction & Deconstruction Q & A
21 Sep 2012 – Presentation at CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai; Presentation Questions & Answers
Track 24 speakers including: Philip Oldfield, Nottingham University; Yu Huang, Shanghai Jian Ke Engineering Consulting Ltd.; Makoto Kayashima, TAISEI Corporation take questions from delegates.
The PassiveHaus Skyscraper: Opportunities And Challenges For 'PassivHaus' Thinking In Tall Building Design
Oct 2011 – Presentation at CTBUH 2011 Seoul Conference; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
'PassivHaus' refers to a building standard focused on creating comfortable interior environments with reduced space conditioning requirements. However, there are still very few built examples of PassivHaus skyscrapers. With this in mind, the…
Seoul Conference 2011 Track Session 16: Q&A
Oct 2011 – Presentation at CTBUH 2011 Seoul Conference; Timothy Johnson, NBBJ; Kyung Wook Seo, Kyonggi University; Robert Mankin & Jonathan Ward, NBBJ ; Steve Watts, Davis Langdon; Paul DeSantis, Principal & Travis Soberg, Goettsch Partners; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham; Michael Wiener, Gensler
Question & Answers session for Track Session 16.
The Carbon Impact of Tall: Embodied Energy in High Rise
5 Feb 2010 – Presentation at CTBUH 2010 Mumbai Conference; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
Much of the current emphasis on the sustainable design of tall buildings is focused on reducing their day-to-day operating energy, with little consideration given to the energy/carbon expended through the buildings’ materials and components and…
Track 7 Panel Questions and Answers
3 Mar 2008 – Presentation at CTBUH 2008 8th World Congress, Dubai; Mir Ali, UIUC; Shyam Sunder, NIST; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham; Dickson Despommier, Mailman School of Public Health
The panel of Track 7 including Mir Ali, Shyam Sunder, Philip Oldfield and Dickson Despommier, answered questions from the CTBUH 8th World Congress audience.
Five Energy Generations of Tall Buildings
3 Mar 2008 – Presentation at CTBUH 2008 8th World Congress, Dubai; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham; Dario Trabucco, Universita IUAV dia Venezia; Antony Wood, Illinois Institute of Technology
Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham/Illinois Institute of Technology presented the the history of energy use in tall buildings, from their origins in North America in the late 19th century to the present day at the CTBUH 8th World Congress in…

Philip Oldfield Related Papers/Research

The Role of Design Competitions In Shaping Sydney’s Public Realm
30 Oct 2017 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue IV; Helen Lochhead & Philip Oldfield, University of New South Wales
Since 2000, through the City of Sydney’s Competitive Design Policy (CDP), the quality of major projects in the city has been improved significantly, mediating the competing tensions of public and private interest. The most successful of these…
Improving Energy Performance In Gulf-Region Residential High-Rises
8 Aug 2017 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue III; Noura Ghabra & Dr. Lucelia Rodrigues, University of Nottingham; Dr. Philip Oldfield, The University of New South Wales
Energy consumption in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has been rising over the last four decades. The residential building sector alone accounts for more than 50% of all delivered energy consumption, and half of this is attributed to the use…
A “Fabric-First” Approach to Sustainable Tall Building Design
Jun 2017 – International Journal of High-Rise Buildings Volume 6 Number 2; Philip Oldfield, University of New South Wales
This research suggests the most effective way for improving energy efficiency in tall buildings is a “fabric-first” approach. This involves optimizing the performance of the building form and envelope as a first priority, with additional technologies…
A “Fabric-First” Approach to Sustainable Tall Building Design
17 Oct 2016 – Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism; Philip Oldfield, University of New South Wales
This research suggests the most effective way for improving energy efficiency in tall buildings is a “fabric-first” approach. This involves optimizing the performance of the building form and envelope as a first priority, with additional technologies…
Debating Tall: Modular as Homogenizing Force?
28 Jan 2016 – CTBUH Journal, 2016 Issue I; Shonn Mills, Ramboll; Philip Oldfield, University of New South Wales
The persistent interest in prefabricated modular construction has now turned into high-rise reality, though the results have been inconsistent. Earlier experiments with the approach resulted in monotony that most would rather not see again. With a…
Vertical Public Realms: Creating Urban Spaces in the Sky
16 Sep 2014 – CTBUH 2014 Shanghai Conference Proceedings; Dr. Yuri Hadi, Leicester School of Architecture; Professor Tim Heath & Dr. Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
The resurgence of the ‘Streets in the Sky’ concept is driving the recent transformation of social and public spaces in vertical cities, with Asia leading the way. The Pinnacle@Duxton in Singapore claims to succeed in this latest development through…
Embodied Carbon and High-Rise
Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
This paper examines the significance of embodied energy and carbon in tall buildings. It presents the life-cycle carbon analysis (including both operational and embodied emissions) of a 40 storey building in London, UK. The results demonstrate that…
Five Energy Generations of Tall Buildings: An Historical Analysis of Energy Consumption in High-Rise Buildings.
Sep 2009 – 2009 The Journal of Architecture; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham; Dario Trabucco, Universita IUAV di Venezia; Antony Wood, CTBUH
Whilst there have been numerous categorisations of high-rise buildings according to their function, architectural style, height or structural strategy, historically little work has been undertaken to classify them based on factors affecting their…
Tall Buildings in the Global Recession: 2008, 2020 and Beyond
Feb 2009 – CTBUH Journal, 2009 Issue I; Philip Oldfield & Antony Wood, CTBUH
The year 2008 will long be remembered as the start of an economic crisis that has gripped the entire globe - a year that may also have brought to an abrupt end the worldwide construction boom that has seen ever-denser cities containing ever-taller…
Global Trends of the High-rise Building Design
Oct 2008 – Urbanism and Architecture Oct 2008; Antony Wood & Philip Oldfield, CTBUH
The paper analyses High-rise building through four key factors - land prices, global icons, sustainability and collapse of the World Trade Centre towers, especially focuses on the reason of current mega-tall projects.
Five Energy Generations of Tall Buildings: A Historical Analysis of Energy Consumption in High Rise Buildings
Mar 2008 – CTBUH 2008 8th World Congress, Dubai; Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham; Dario Trabucco, Universita IUAV di Venezia; Antony Wood, CTBUH
This paper aims to rectify this by examining the history of energy use in tall buildings, from their origins in North America in the late 19th century to the present day. In doing so, it categorises tall buildings into five chronological ‘generations…
Bridging the Gap: Proposed Evacuation Links at Height in the World Trade Center Design Entries
Oct 2005 – CTBUH 2005 7th World Congress, New York; Antony Wood & Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
This paper proposes to analyse in detail the skybridge links of the WTC replacement designs – impact on evacuation, structure, façade, tower operation etc – with the aim of establishing the advantages of such linkages, and how these could be…
Bridging the gap: An analysis of proposed evacuation links at height in the World Trade Centre design competition entries
Oct 2005 – CTBUH New York 7th World Congress 2005; Antony Wood & Philip Oldfield, University of Nottingham
This paper analyses the skybridge links of the numerous re-design proposals for the World Trade Centre Towers, with the aim of establishing their advantages and how they could be incorporated into tall building design in the future.