Review: 2018 PLEA Conference in Hong Kong

Scholarship students mingle amid SBSE Past-Presidemts, at left Shreshth, and at Ulrike’s right Laura, Jonathan, Natalia.

The Passive Low Energy Architecture Conference, PLEA 2018, was held Dec 10–12 in Hong Kong, China. The conference was hosted by the School of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and chaired by Edward Ng. 
With the topic, “Smart and Healthy within the two-degree limit,” the conference was organized around four themes: Science and Technology, People and Community, Design and Practice, and Education and Training. Most of the papers were in either the science and technology or the design and practice sections, and included topics in passive cooling and heating, urban microclimate, daylight and glare, and thermal comfort, with most emphases on practice and implementation. 
The opening keynote by Edna Shaviv was a call to provide more value to passive design in certification systems and energy codes. Additional keynotes by practitioners and government officials discussed sustainable design and implementation through nontraditional materials, design with the site, affordable housing and buildings that also teach sustainability through their design. 
A generous “Student Design Colloquium” allowed students from many parts of the world to come to PLEA and present the implementation of sustainable strategies in their design projects. Scholarships awarded by SBSE (1) and the Cook Charitable Trust (4) helped five students present papers at the conference: Maaz Barin Dixit, from CEPT University, Shreshth Nagpal from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (also an SBSE scholar at ASES in 2005), Jonathan Natanian from Technical University of Munich, Laura Isabel Rodríguez from Universidad del Zulia (Venezuela), and Natalia Sokol from Gdansk University of Technology. See blurbs on their work in the next column.
As a sign of increasing ties between PLEA and SBSE, four past SBSE presidents—Margot McDonald, Ihab Elzeyadi (not pictured above), Alfredo Fernandez-Gonzalez, and Pablo La Roche—attended this conference with current SBSE president Ulrike Passe. 
PLEA 2018 was a great conference, enhanced by a beautiful dinner during a harbor cruise, pre-conference workshops, and post-conference tours, all framed by Hong Kong’s skyline, a fantastic venue for any event.—Pablo La Roche