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Degrees and Honours

PhD Architecture Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, UKThesis: Socio-material constructs of domestic energy demand: Household and housing practices in Pakistan,

MSc- Architecture Department of Architecture, University of Engineering & Technology Lahore, Pakistan. Thesis: A study of energy retrofits to reduce electricity consumption in residential buildings in Lahore

BSc- Building & Architecture Engineering Department of Architecture Engineering, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan.

Membership of professional bodies/associations

  • Member of the Behaviour and Building Performance (BBP) Research Group, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge

  • Member of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE)

  • Member of WISER (Women and Inclusivity in Sustainable Energy Research)

  • Member of Women in Energy (Pakistan)

  • Student member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

  • Member of Pakistan Engineering Council


Rihab is an interdisciplinary researcher in sustainable energy consumption and demand management, focusing on socio-technical approaches to societal transitions. In particular, she is interested in the intersections of gender, energy infrastructure and space use in Pakistan and more broadly in the Global South. Her work takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding energy demand, amalgamating socio-cultural theories with more technically grounded understandings of consumption in the context of architectural and urban spaces. Rihab is committed to problem-driven research to tackle societal challenges, and to improve energy efficiency and sufficiency to meet climate change targets.

Rihab has recently completed her PhD in Architecture at the University of Cambridge. Her thesis “Socio-material constructs of domestic energy demand: Household and housing practices in Pakistan” addresses the gap in socio-technical studies of domestic energy-use in the Global South. Her study identifies various nexuses of practices and spatial arrangements of urban housing that have emerged, persisted, and transformed over time, giving rise to unsustainable levels of electricity consumption in middle-class housing in Lahore, Pakistan. She has used a mixed-method approach, combining practice theories with the knowledge of spatial agency in design to explore sustainability interventions in house design and use, with implications for housing and energy policy.

Research interests

  • Gender and its intersections with energy and space use

  • Socio-material transitions of energy infrastructure and the built environment at the micro-, meso- and macro scales

  • Energy demand reduction and demand management

  • Social architecture; sociology of architecture; spatial agency in architectural design

  • Socio-technical sustainability transitions

  • In-depth qualitative methodologies

  • Interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research