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Dr. Russell Richman

Russell Richman
Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, Building Science
BASc, MASc, PhD, PEng
416-979-5000 ext. 556489

Areas of Specialization

Building science

Building envelope

Material analysis

Passive House standards

Sustainable retrofits


Year University Degree
2008 University of Toronto PhD
2002 University of Toronto MASc
1999 University of Toronto BASc

Selected Courses

Course Code Course Title
BSC 822 Advanced Envelopes/Components
BL8100 Building Envelope Theory
BL8101 Building Envelope Systems
BL8213 Passive House Design and Construction


Russell Richman’s house was a nightmare when he bought it. Moldy and dingy, it was a paradise for raccoons and rats. But he wasn’t intimidated. All he saw was potential.

Richman has a knack for seeing beyond exteriors. A civil engineer and building scientist with a private consulting practice, he enjoys the hidden challenges of every new project. “You never know what you’re going to find,” he says. “I’ll get a call about a leak on the 3rd floor of a downtown building, but the source will be on the 23rd.”

The house that Richman bought had leaks, too, of course. So he gutted it and transformed it into a beautiful home for his family. He saw the project as more than a reno; it was research. Eventually Richman published six academic papers based on testing he performed in the home, such as frost dilatometry and electromagnetic frequency exposure reduction. None of this would have been possible, however, without vision—the kind that Richman says every architect and building scientist needs. “You need the ability stand in the space and see the after, not the before.”

Russell Richman

“Building science is at the intersection of civil, mechanical, environmental engineering and architecture.”

  • Williams, B. and Richman, R., Coupling Field Measurement and Laboratory Frost Dilatometry to Assess Load Bearing Clay Brick Masonry for Long-Term Durability, Journal of Building Physics, Vol 40, Issue 5, 2017.
  • Hygrothermal performance of hempcrete for Ontario (Canada) buildings, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 142, Part 4, January 2017, Pp 3655-3664.
  • Denver Jermyn, Russell Richman, A process for developing deep energy retrofit strategies for single-family housing typologies: Three Toronto case studies, Energy and Buildings, Volume 116, 15 March 2016, Pages 522-534
  • Matthew S. Tokarik, Russell C. Richman, Life cycle cost optimization of passive energy efficiency improvements in a Toronto house, Energy and Buildings, Volume 118, 15 April 2016, Pages 160-169
  • Amanda Yip, Russell Richman. Reducing Ontario’s new single-family residential heating energy consumption by 80% by 2035: economic analysis of a tiered framework of performance targets. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 2015, 42(12): 1135-1145,
  • So, N. and Richman, R. (2015). A High Level Method to Disaggregate Electricity for Cluster-Metered Buildings, Energy and Buildings, in press (Available online 22 November 2015).
  • Sustainable Buildings Group
  • Practicing engineering consultant
  • Graduate program director (Building Science)