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Rafael Novais Passarelli, PhD


ARCH 4042/6052 - Research Studio

ARCH 4252/6252 - URBANbuild Technology

ARCH 4552/6552 URBANbuild Professionalism


Rafael Passarelli is a wooden architecture researcher, focusing on sustainable mass timber buildings and modular construction. He is a graduate of the University of Sao Paulo and a licensed architect in Brazil, with experience including affordable wooden housing in the tropics. During his education, Rafael studied at Aalto University and joined the design and construction of the first net-zero-energy house in Finland. He was also a guest researcher at TU Vienna, under professor Wolfgang Winter's supervision, developing research on the manufacturing process and application of Austrian CLT.

In 2017, Rafael Passarelli earned his Ph.D. degree from The University of Tokyo, analyzing the implementation and sustainable performance of CLT construction in Japan. He worked as an architect in Nikken Sekkei - the largest architecture firm in Japan-, designing large-scale mixed-use developments, before joining Tulane University.

As a Visiting Research Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture, Rafael Passarelli aims to combine his research agenda with the vast achievements of the URBANbuild Program and contribute to sustainable wooden architecture education at the School of Architecture.