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 Ester Coma Bassas MArch (Hons), MSc (Hons)

Ester Coma Bassas

MArch (Hons), MSc (Hons)

Research Associate

+44 (0)29 2087 0463
Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB



  • Leading and supervising the design of Zero Energy buildings (new build and retrofit) with a systems-based approach to integrate reduced energy demand, renewable energy supply and local energy storage, e.g. Solcer House;
  • Leading the development of a low carbon retrofit protocol for the Welsh housing stock.
  • Managing the preparation of architectural drawings, technical specifications, diagrams of energy systems, operation and maintenance plans and monitoring strategies.
  • Planning and organisation of project delivery, cost and budget;
  • Collecting and evaluating monitored data for the analysis of energy performance, thermal comfort and cost-benefit;
  • Reviewing existing research literature on integrated systems approach and low carbon technologies;
  • Managing and supervising surveys to evaluate post-construction and visitor’s opinion;
  • Building modelling and simulation, e.g. RevitHTB2, Ecotec, PHPP and Design Builder;
  • Developing computer tools for energy systems sizing and optimisation;
  • Liaising with manufacturers to supervise works on site and improve the implementation of research into demonstration projects, e.g. BASF, Tata Steel, Tesla, Victron, BIPV, GSE, Nuaire, Pichler, Genvex, Pilkingtons, etc.;
  • Liaising with industrial, government and international partners to assist on policy making and increase the impact of research.
  • Preparing research funding applications, e.g. Horizon2020, Innovate UK, EPSRC, CTBUH;
  • Preparing award applications, e.g. CEW, CU Innovation, Cynnal Cymru, The Guardian, St. Davids, BEE, etc.

Other tasks

  • Writing scientific articles for international journals, conferences and general media;
  • Promoting the impact that research projects can have on society, education and government.
  • Lectures and supervision of thesis to MSc and PhD students.
  • Knowledge transfer workshops to professional bodies, e.g. Constructing Excellence Wales (CEW), Welsh Government, Sustain Wales, CPRWales, Energy Systems Catapult, Royal Institute British Architects (RIBA), Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).


  • PhD - Buildings as power stations: Integrating energy, technology & architecture. Welsh School of Architecture. Cardiff University. From April 2014 to July 2018.
  • MSc Environmental Design of Buildings (Distinction). Welsh School of Architecture. Cardiff University. From September 2011 to September 2012.
  • MArch in Architecture (Distinction). ETSAB. School of Architecture of Barcelona. UPC. From September 2004 to July 2010.

Honours and awards

  • Young Achiever of the Year 2015 – 1r prize. Constructing Excellence Wales, CEW National Awards 2015.
  • Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability – 1r prize. Cardiff University, Celebrating Excellence Awards 2015.
  • Outstanding Contribution One-Off Award – 1r prize. Cardiff University, Outstanding Contribution Awards 2015.
  • Innovation Award – 1r prize. Cardiff University, Cardiff Innovation and Impact Awards 2015.
  • Breakthrough Project 2015 – 1r prize. Buildings & Energy Efficiency Awards 2015.
  • Sustainable Project of the Year 2015 – 2n Prize. Cynnal Cymru, Sustain Wales Awards 2015.

Professional memberships

  • BIM Level 2. BRE Academy. February 2020.
  • Autodesk Revit Essentials. BRE Academy. December 2019
  • Cat 1 Thermography. ITC. July 2018
  • BREEAM Associate. BRE Academy. February 2018
  • Certified PassivHaus Designer. PassivHaus Institute. June 2017            
  • ARB Registered Architect. UK Architects Registration Board. February 2013

Academic positions

  • SPECIFIC Low Carbon Built Environment (LCBE) – From June 2016. Project funded by WEFO, ERDF & Innovate UK.
  • EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) – From January 2016 to May 2016. Project funded by EPSRC.
  • Smart operation low carbon technologies (SOLCER) – From October 2014 to December 2015. Project funded by WEFO and ERDF.
  • Buildings as Power Stations – From October 2013 to October 2014. Project funded by EPSRC.






  • Jones, al. 2017. The SOLCER energy positive house: whole system simulation. Presented at: Building Simulation 2017: 15th Conference of International Building Performance Simulation Association, San Francisco, CA, USA, 7-9 August 2017 Presented at Barnaby, C. S. and Wetter, M. eds.Proceedings of Building Simulation 2017: 15th Conference of International Building Performance Simulation Association, San Francisco, USA, August 7-9, 2017. , (10.26868/25222708.2017.341)





Lectures and thesis supervision on subjects related to my research on the following postgraduate courses:

MSc in Environmental Design of Buildings

Research interests

My research focuses on the concept of ’Buildings as Power Stations’, thus on the integration and implementation of an energy systems based approach into buildings to optimise energy self sufficiency. This concept not only represents a major shift in the way that electricity is generated, stored and used; but it also presents a challenge for architects, who now have a decisive role to move forward the ’Low Carbon Housing’ agenda if they are to play a leadership role on a building project team.

My current work proposes a ’performance-driven’ architectural design, which takes a holistic approach towards energy and thermal performances of buildings while ensuring that the use and aesthetic of the design are not dismissed. In recent years mathematical models, energy performance simulation techniques, as well as computer-aided design and drafting systems have been used. However, architects often find them impractical and incompatible with their knowledge base and design approach. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an effective method to conduct ’performance-driven’ design and systems optimisation from the perspective of architects. Hence, the SOLCER house prototype that I have designed as the architect of the SOLCER project, together with the BAPS tool that I developed as a researcher of the BAPS Project; are currently the main focus of my work.

The SOLCER house consists on a ’near zero’ carbon house prototype designed to a Passivhaus level of energy demand, incorporating fully integrated renewable thermal and electrical energy supply, and thermal and electrical energy storage. This house is currently under construction in Wales and is due to be completed in February 2015. My overall research programme includes both the development of the BAPS tool and the design and construction of the prototype SOLCER House. This combines a theoretical approach in terms of design and modeling of the building and its systems, with more practice based research of implementing the BAPS tool to size the energy system for a house in the real world. Characteristics such as flexibility, affordability, viability or replicability, and demonstrating performance in use, are essential in order to ensure that the designed prototype SOLCER House can become a real alternative in the UK housing market and attract the interest of the public (builders, local authorities, RSL, individual users, etc.).

My research activities include: net-zero buildings design and construction, low carbon materials, integration of systems, energy modelling, thermal modelling, systems performance assessment, etc.