Tarek Rakha

Assistant Professor, Director, High Performance Building Lab


Ph.D. in Building Technology, MIT (2015)
M.S. and B.S. in Architecture, Cairo University (2010, 2007)


Sustainable Design; Urban Modeling; Building Performance; Simulation; Energy Efficiency; Artificial Intelligence; Machine Learning; Computer Vision; Envelope Diagnostics; Thermography


Dr. Tarek Rakha is an architect, building scientist and educator. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Director of the High Performance Building Lab (HPBL) at Georgia Tech. His research aims to influence architecture, urban design and planning practices through three areas of expertise: 1) Urban and building performance simulation; 2) Built environment vulnerability diagnostics using heat mapping Computer Vision drones, and 3) Microclimate simulation and infrastructure inspection for comfortable, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods and cities. Before joining Georgia Tech in 2019, he was Assistant Professor at Syracuse University starting in 2015, after earning his Ph.D. in Building Technology from MIT. He published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, and two of which won best paper awards. His research is sponsored by federal agencies such as the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and from state authorities such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Georgia DOT (GDOT), as well as corporate sponsors.

He was recently nationally recognized by the Emerging Contributor Award of the American chapter of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA-USA). He was also awarded the Georgia Tech Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 Award. Dr. Rakha serves international scholarly conferences through his leadership, as he was invited to the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design’s board (SimAUD), and served as the 2018 General Chair in TU Delft and as the 2019 Program Chair for its 10 year anniversary in Georgia Tech. He was also a Scientific Track Chair for the 2018 International Building Physics Conference (IBPC).

Visit the High Performance Building Lab

Select Peer-reviewed Journal Publications

Bayomi, N., Nagpal, S., Rakha, T., and Fernandez, J. (2020) “Building Envelope Modeling Calibration using Aerial Thermography,” Energy and Buildings, 110648. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2020.110648 

El Masri, Y. and Rakha, T., “A scoping review of non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques in building performance diagnostic inspections.” Construction and Building Materials, 265, 1205422 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.120542

Rakha, T., & El Kontar, R. (2019). Community energy by design: A simulation-based design workflow using measured data clustering to calibrate Urban Building Energy Models (UBEMs). Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 46(8), 1517-1533. https://doi.org/10.1177/2399808319841909 

Rakha, T., & Gorodetsky, A. (2018). Review of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) applications in the built environment: Towards automated building inspection procedures using drones. Automation in Construction, 93, 252-264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2018.05.002 

Select Peer-reviewed Conference Publications

El Masri, Y and Rakha, T. (2020) “Review of Non-Destructive Techniques (NDTs) for Building Diagnostic Inspections” In Proceedings of the 2020 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, 29 September – 01 October, Chicago: USA (Virtual).

Panagoulia, E. and Rakha, T. (2020) “Performance Analytics through Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Retrofitting Design: Towards a Graph-based Data-to-Decisions Framework” In Proceedings of In Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA), 1-3 September, A Coruña: Spain (Virtual).

Pilet, T. and Rakha, T. (2020) “A Building Envelope Characterization Workflow for In-Situ Thermal Performance Assessment” In Proceedings of the 2020 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, 29 September – 01 October, Chicago: USA (Virtual).

Sherif, T. and Rakha, T. (2020) “Simulating False Sensing Impacts for Diverse Occupancy Patterns and Behaviors on Heating and Cooling Energy Consumption in US Residential Buildings.” In Proceedings of the 2020 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, 29 September – 01 October, Chicago: USA (Virtual).

2020 Emerging Contributor Award – International Building Performance Simulation Association – National USA Chapter (IBPSA-USA)

2020 Georgia Tech Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 Award

2019 HERE+NOW: A House for the 21st Century International Design Competition, Co-Faculty Advisor for the 1st Place Winner and Honorable Mention Student Groups (

2017 SU Innovative Program Development Fund Award: $16,260 SU College fund for development toward offering “Aerial Analytics: Buildings Diagnostics using Drones” co-taught with Dr. Senem Velipasalar in Summer 2018.

2014 Raab Family Education Fund Award – MIT Department of Architecture: First recipient of a $10,000 award for one nominated Ph.D. Candidate with a public interest focus.

2010 Best Paper Award – International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE) in Nottingham: UK. Student Paper presented from MS thesis work.

2010 Best Paper Award – Renewable Energy 2010 Conference in Yokohama: Japan. Low Energy Architecture Paper presented from group research.

Aerial Intelligence for Retrofit Building Energy Modeling (AirBEM)
2019-2022, Funding: $1.8M
Role: Principal Investigator.
Co-PI: Dr. Senem Velipasalar and Prof. John Fernandez; Co-Investigator Dr. Ed Bogucz, Sandeep Ahuja.
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (BTO)
Partners: Syracuse University, MIT and Pattern r+d

Community Energy: Technical and Social Challenges and Integrative Solutions
2017 – 2018, Funding: $99,965
Role: Co-Principal Investigator, PI: Dr. Jason Dedrick. Co-PI: Dr. Bess Krietemeyer.
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF) – Smart and Connected Communities
Partners: Pecan Institute and SU School of Information Studies (I-School)

Feasibility Assessment of Sustainable Transportation Alternatives (FAST: Syracuse)
2016 – 2017, Funding: $230,796
Role: Principal Investigator, Co-PI: Dr. Ed Bogucz
Sponsor: NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Barton & Loguidice (B&L), and SU SoA and CECS
Partners: SU CECS and SyracuseCoE, B&L, Clean Communities of Central New York, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, and Hitachi Consulting

ARCH 6072 Design + Research Studio
ARCH 6242 Building Physics Modeling (Modeling the Unseen)
ARCH 6226 Inquiry in Building Performance
ARCH 8833 Integrated Building Systems I


Google Scholar and ResearchGate profiles.
Public LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.
High Performance Building at Georgia Tech.