What's your name and position?
Magdalini (Lina) Makrodimitri, the lead Sustainability Consultant for the Pavilion project at International Quarter London. Head of Sustainability at Norman, Disney & Young.
What would you say your main responsibilities are in relation to the Pavilion?
I am the lead sustainability consultant for the IQL Pavilion project. I started being involved from the very beginning of the concept design stages and my main responsibility was to assist the project’s key stakeholders (including the design team, project managers, other interested parties) to set up some exemplar sustainability targets for the job. Also, to contribute to their decision making by feeding in benefits and drawbacks of various proposals and assisting the design team into delivering a design in line with our initial aspirations and targets. I have also acted as the BREEAM Accredited professional and have led the energy and thermal performance modelling exercises to ensure exemplar results and comfort levels are achieved through the design.
Where do you enjoy spending time around Stratford?
I actually live locally. I love Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it’s lovely to walk through and there’s always lots going on. The whole area has lots going on, festivals and activities to suit all age ranges.
How did you get into the industry? Was it planned or by accident?
It was a bit of both really. I come from an architectural background and then specialised in Environmental Design. The natural progression was to find a role where I could make a meaningful contribution using what I’d learned.
What did you do before you started your current role?
Before my current role I was a sustainability engineer, but before this I worked in Academia. As I previously mentioned, my University career led me to specialise in environmental design. My PHD thesis focussed on the environmental performance of old structures with heritage value; so I was dealing with matters related to inter-relation between energy performance, material conservation in old structures, and occupiers’ feedback and satisfaction.
Did you study at University? If so, where and what?
I studied a BA in Architectural Engineering in Athens before doing my Masters at University College London and my PHD at Cambridge.
What’s the most exciting aspect of the Pavilion for you?
The project has had a wonderful team comprised of exceptional people. The discussions surrounding the sustainability of the building have been hugely exciting, filled with lots of ground-breaking ideas, many of which have been implemented. This has led to an integrated design approach.
The result is an iconic building. In addition, it’s a structure with low environmental impact, utilising innovative construction techniques, such as CLT lead structure which contributes to low embodied carbon of the overall building. Of course the building is design and being delivered to consume very low amounts of energy, and has many other environmental attributes, such as access to daylight, sustainable materials, energy efficient equipment and lighting, optimisation of construction waste processes, enhancement of local ecology via sustainable planting on the top terrace, community integration into the concept of sustainable design via plug and play PV panels to charge small devices etc.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part for me is being the connecting link in a multi-discipline project. I can make a real contribution and be a positive influence across all teams and aspects within the project. That’s incredibly rewarding.