Richard Lorch, BA77, recipient of a 2017 Award for Distinction from the Sam Fox School, will deliver a lecture titled The Changing Role of Professionalism: Why Outcomes Matter.
Lorch is an architect, researcher, author, book series editor, and editor-in-chief of the international research journal Building Research & Information. Over the past four decades, his focus has expanded from the practice of architecture to the wider social impacts of building on energy, climate, and the environment. He leads a worldwide engagement strategy on transitioning to a low-carbon society by coalescing the policy, professional, and academic communities.
From 2007-14, Lorch was the editor of Climate Policy, a journal that focuses on international climate negotiations and their implications. He has published numerous articles as well as two books: Buildings, Culture and Environment: Informing Local and Global Practices (2003), co-authored with R.J. Cole, and Construction Materials and the Environment: Preparing for Stricter Building Product Standards (1990).
Today, Lorch is actively engaged in improving policy literacy within the construction sector. He is a board member of The Edge, a UK think tank whose objective is to change the public policy agenda to reduce carbon emissions created by the built environment. Over the past 12 years, he has organized numerous debates and events for senior government and industry leaders to implement climate change reforms.
Lorch is a consultant to the European Commission Directorate-General for Energy on smart cities and energy and has advised China's Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. He serves on the advisory board of the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School, an international transdisciplinary PhD program on spatial science, economics, and social sciences. He has given several keynote addresses on resilience and sustainability at conferences and universities in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Finland, China, Australia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. He also participated in Washington University’s Healthy Urban Ecosystems Group and has recently lectured in the Sam Fox School and Arts & Sciences.
Lorch earned his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University in 1977, with further postgraduate studies in architecture at the Royal Academy in London and the University of Cambridge, England. He is a registered architect and member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.