Piers Heath leads Foster + Partners’ Environmental Engineering team and provides strategic and design support across all projects. He studied energy engineering at Southbank University and gained experience in a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines working with some of the UK’s leading environmental consultants, including Arup, Brown & Root and Battle McCarthy. In 2005 he founded PHA Consult, pioneering a fresh approach to environmental engineering and sustainable design.
From the late 1990s he collaborated on a variety of Foster + Partners projects, including masterplans, offices, educational buildings and arts spaces. In 2011, he joined the practice as a senior partner to lead the Environmental Engineering team. He has devised environmental strategies for projects around the world, including the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi – the first building of its kind to be powered entirely by renewable energy – and Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport. His investigations into the nature of the tall building include the design of the mixed-use Jameson House in Vancouver. His work on Campus Biometropolis in Mexico City seeks to preserve indigenous species and overcome local water shortages.
He has a particular interest in the challenges presented by arts buildings. In music venues, such as Zénith in St-Étienne and the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, there was a need for state-of-the-art performance facilities as well as a consideration of the environmental concerns presented by demanding climates and variety in building use. The design of the glazed roof above the Smithsonian Institution courtyard is part of a strategy to ensure year-round comfort in the multifunctional space, balancing daylight, solar control and acoustic performance.