Salmaan Craig

Assistant Professor
Salmaan Craig
Contact Information
Email address: 
salmaan.craig [at]
Macdonald-Harrington Building, Room 215C

B.Sc., Eng.D.(Brunel)

Research areas: 
Materials design
Sustainable design
Naturally ventilated buildings

I am a building scientist, architectural educator, and Assistant Professor at McGill University School of Architecture. I used to be a Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. I also spent several years in practice, first as a façade engineer at Buro Happold and then in the Specialist Modelling Group at Foster + Partners, contributing to Masdar Institute, Apple Campus, and Bloomberg Headquarters.

Today, my research program develops new concepts for solar architecture with biogenic materials. I ask how to compose and shape these materials as part of natural thermal and ventilation cycles, so they can one day replace mechanical systems for air-conditioning. We derive most of our insights about these thermal flow cycles from physical experiments in the lab and out in the field. My architectural interest in these cycles is as a catalyst for building form, spatial seduction, and new patterns for living and working. Meanwhile, my ecological interest lies in understanding if these new biomaterials can not only replace air-conditioning but also help reconcile construction with natural climate solutions at the regional scale.

Selected publications: 

R. Fortin, J. Mandal, A.P. Raman, S. Craig (2023). Cool Running: Passive radiative cooling to sub-ambient temperatures inside naturally ventilated buildings. Engrxiv (preprint) []

R. Fortin, A. Halepaska, S. Craig (2022). Designing the thermal properties of bio-composites for thermal mass and dynamic insulation. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Structures and Architecture (ICSA 2022), July 6-8, 2022, Aalborg, Denmark.[]

T. de Toldi, S. Craig, L. Sushama (2022). Internal thermal mass for passive cooling and ventilation: adaptive comfort limits, ideal quantities, embodied carbon. Buildings and Cities 3(1) []

F. Suerich-Gulick, A. Halepaska, S. Craig (2022). Cascading temperature demand: The limits of thermal nesting in naturally ventilated buildings. Building and Environment 208:108607 []

S. Craig, A. Halepaska, K. Ferguson, P. Rains, J. Elbrecht, A. Freear, D. Kennedy, K. Moe (2021). The Design of Mass Timber Panels as Heat-Exchangers (Dynamic Insulation). Frontiers in Built Environment, 6: 606258 []

L. Barrett, J. Jeong, R. Price, C. Subasic, S. Asselin, R. Fortin, A. Freear, D. Kennedy, K. Moe, S. Craig (2021). Synchronized coupling of thermal mass and buoyancy ventilation: Wood versus concrete. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 2042 012152 []

A. Halepaska, S. Craig (2021). Optimal design of mass timber panels as dynamic insulation: simulations of steady and transient heat exchange. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 2042 012185 []

R. Fortin, S. Craig (2021). Geometrically activated thermal mass: wood vs. concrete. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 2042 012156 []

J. Grinham, S. Craig, D. Ingber, M. Bechthold (2020). Origami microfluidics for radiant cooling with small temperature differences in buildings. Applied Energy, 277: 115610. []

J. Grinham, D. Ingber, S. Craig, M. Bechthold (2020). Radiant cooling devices and methods of forming the same. US Patent App. 16/629,899 

S. Craig (2019). The optimal tuning, within carbon limits, of thermal mass in naturally ventilated buildings. Building and Environment, 165: 106373. []

S. Craig (2018). Gain Plumbing. Harvard Design Magazine. No.45

S. Craig, (2017). Could the future of air-conditioning be found inside termite mounds? Massive Science [] and Pacific Standard []

S. Craig and J. Grinham (2017). Breathing walls: The design of porous materials for heat exchange and decentralized ventilation. Energy and Buildings, 149: 246–259. []


Research Funding

S. Craig (2022-2027) Towards the physical programming of bio-based buildings for natural thermoregulation. NSERC Discovery Grant.

S. Craig, M. Jemtrud (2020-2025). Building Architecture Research Node (BARN). CFI Innovation Fund. 

S. Craig, B. Côte, K. Moe, M. Jemtrud (2021-2024). Buildings as a Global Carbon Sink. CleanTech for Climate Action. The McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative (MSSI). 




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