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Juan Fernandez Goycoolea

Dr Juan Fernandez Goycoolea


Research Associate

Welsh School of Architecture


Juan Pablo is an architect with experience in the fields of social housing and public space design and commissioning. He obtained his architecture qualification and architectural sciences bachelor’s degree at Federico Santa María Technological University (UTFSM) in Valparaíso, Chile (2012), and a master’s degree in Regional Development and the Environment from the University of Valparaíso (2015). In 2022, Juan completed a PhD at the WSA, with a project that explored the role of householders’ energy demand practices for CO2 emissions reductions in homes retrofitted with on-site renewable energy systems. 

Before coming to Cardiff, Juan worked for one year as a teaching assistant at UTFSM’s Architecture School and participated in public spaces and social housing design projects in Chile. He also worked at the Chilean Service of Housing and Urbanism, where he gained experience in the quality assessment and commissioning of social housing new developments and refurbishment projects. In this context, he developed an interest in the topic of residential building retrofitting.

His research interests relate to the reduction of the environmental impacts of the built environment from a sociotechnical perspective. Currently, he is a full-time Research Associate for the Homes As Power Stations (HAPS) project at the Welsh School of Architecture.







Juan’s bachelor’s dissertation was a study of the architecture introduced into the Chilean Patagonia region during its first industrial development, aiming to identify the climatic properties of its –now considered- traditional elements. The results of this project were presented at the research section of the 19th Architectural Biennale of Chile, where it was selected as one of three prized research projects of the event. In parallel, Juan earned a scholarship from the Chilean Commission of Science and Technology (CONICyT) to undertake a Master’s degree in “Regional development and the environment” at Valparaíso University (2013/22130482). His master’s dissertation looked at how environmental ethics were being embraced and understood among architecture schools and young architects in the Valparaíso Region.

Currently, he is a full-time PhD candidate at Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture (WSA), holding a Doctoral grant from CONICyT (2017/72180375). His research project focuses on dwellers’ experience with and role for the carbon emissions reduction effectiveness of On-site Renewable Energy Systems (ORETs) in existing dwellings. A mixed-methods research design is proposed for the assessment of householders’ engagement with a low-carbon operation of the technologies available in their homes.

His other research interests encompass traditional and low-carbon construction technologies; and the overlap between environmental ethics and the built environment intervention processes.

[Researchgate profile]


2020-21 term: 

  • Tutor in Cardiff University – WSA undergrad. Architectural Technology 3 (AT3), Architecture in Context (AiC) and Issues in Contemporary Architecture (ICA) modules
  • Tutor in MA Urban Design (MAUD) - Spring studio and Research-based Design Project (RbDP)

2019-20 term:

  • Tutor in Cardiff University – WSA undergrad. Architecture in Context (AiC) module and Issues in Contemporary Architecture (ICA) module
  • Tutor in MA Urban Design (MAUD) - Spring studio and Research-based Design Project (RbDP)
  • Reviewer in MA Urban Design (MAUD) - Autumn studio and Research methods and techniques (RMT)

2018-19 term:

  • Assistant in WSA Summer school