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Centre for Sustainable Development

Est 2000 - home of the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

Kayla Friedman (BSc MArch (Dist) MUD (Dist) AIA AFHEA) PhD is a licensed New York State Architect.  She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Virginia.  Kayla joined the Centre in January 2010 as part of the EPSRC and Grosvenor funded Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Research Programme.

She is a member of Homerton College.


Kayla developed her thesis topic under the Grosvenor sponsored EPSRC CASE award for "Appropriate responses by landlords of existing, large-scale, mixed use properties under various scenarios for energy management up to 2050".  Her thesis is entitled "Examining English planning as a barrier to the thermal improvement of conservation properties".  In it she examines the tension between energy efficient retrofit and conservation and heritage.  Her work sought to provide an evidence base and hypotheses for further investigation, for an often quoted but little understood barrier to the improvement of the existing building stock.  Her research methodology was mixed methods using both qualitative and quantitative approaches.  She collected data from planning officers and industry practitioners through surveys and structured interviews.  She also used a case study approach for different elements of her work with central London as one, and an energy efficient retrofit of a Grade II listed property as another.

More about Kayla:

Kayla got her Bachelor's of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia in 1996 and her Master's of Architecture and Master's of Urban Design, both with Honours, from Washington University in St.Louis in 2002.  She moved to London in 2003 and took a job with Levitt Bernstein Associates as an Urban Designer working primarily on social housing regeneration projects in London and the wider United Kingdom.  She experienced first hand how the changing environmental policy landscape was continuously influencing the development of the built environment and became very interested in developing integrated environmental design solutions at the community and neighbourhood scales.

Kayla developed her interests in the relationship between sustainability and the built environment by being a guest lecturer, critic, and tutor on the MSc Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies and the MA Architecture: Sustainability and Design both at the University of East London.  She has a keen interest in teaching and since coming to Cambridge is also a Director of Studies, supervisor, and lecturer with the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) Master's Course as well as supervising for Land Economy Paper 10: Urban Design.

She plans to continue to bridge the gap between academia and industry through research, teaching and practice.

Kayla has been approved for the PhD and graduated in November 2015.