Congratulations to Dr Roberto Cruz Juarez on being awarded his PhD

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An hispanic man with short dark hair, beard and glasses wearing a blue collarless shirt is smiling and standing in front of a South American pyramid

Congratulations to Dr Roberto Cruz Juarez on being awarded his PhD in February 2022. Dr Cruz’s thesis is entitled ‘The impact of the use of adobe as masonry in the operational and embodied emissions of dwellings, considering the urban heat island effect and the changing climate in Puebla, Mexico’. His research analysed how the Mexican city of Puebla performs thermally by studying the urban heat island effect in the metropolitan area, how climate change is expected to impact the region, and how dwellings build with cement and adobe would perform under the different scenarios.

Six areas in Puebla with different rates of urbanization were monitored for a year using temperature and relative humidity data loggers, and the data obtained with the sensors was then used in conjunction with future climate change data for the area. Using both sets of data, Dr Cruz created computer models using DesignBuilder to analyse the relationship between an adobe dwelling and a concrete block building, allowing a holistic study of the architecture and climate change interdependency in the area.

The comparison between the dwellings also considered the embodied carbon in the construction methods and energy requirements, delivering a complete analysis of the construction techniques. His research demonstrated that the use of adobe could be a suitable material for combatting the current climate change and urban heat island effects in this growing city in Mexico, but that if the worst-case scenarios of climate change in the area are reached, the need for air conditioning would not be avoided. 

After finishing his PhD, Dr Cruz started working with an environmental consultancy in the Northwest of England as an Energy and Decarbonization Consultant. In his job, he combines his previous experience with the built environment from his architecture background, and what he learned from working in his research project. In his role, he is helping companies reduce the embodied emissions in their buildings, as well as their operational emissions from day-to-day operations, applying the methods and expertise that came as a result of his PhD. 

Dr Cruz has also published the one peer-reviewed journal articles whilst pursuing his PhD:

  • Cruz Juarez, R.I. and Finnegan, S., 2021. The environmental impact of cement production in Europe: A holistic review of existing EPDs. Cleaner Environmental Systems, 3, p.100053.