You are now in the main content area

Dr. Zaiyi Liao

Zaiyi Liao
BArch, MASc, PhD, PEng
416-979-5000 ext. 556488

Areas of Specialization

Building automation

Computational modeling of building performance

Fire safety

Wastewater treatment


Durability of building materials

Water resource management

Building services engineering


Year University Degree
2004 University of Oxford PhD
2001 Hong Kong Polytechnic University PhD
1990 Tsinghua University MASc
1988 Tsinghua University BArch

Selected Courses

Course Code Course Title
ASC 402 Bodily Comfort Systems
ASC 756 Fire Safety in the Built Environment
ARC 720 Architecture Studio
BL8103 Energy-efficient Building Services and Renewable Energy Systems


In fast-developing China, building science expertise is in demand—and so is Zaiyi Liao. For several years, Liao has been collaborating with researchers and industry to develop a solution for monitoring and assessing the structural safety of shelters on the country’s high-speed train platforms. He also consults on other matters, including building envelopes. “In China, they have many of the same weather fluctuations and needs that we have in Canada,” he says, “which means there are many opportunities for our professionals.”

Recently, Liao took a group of fourth-year DAS students to the city of Yichang in central China. Their assignment? Design a bed and breakfast for a self-sustaining organic farm and agro-tourism attraction. Liao had his students perform site surveys and topology analysis, and he encouraged them to incorporate local architectural traditions. The owner of the farm was so thrilled with their work that he plans on constructing their design. “The project was successful because it combined local tradition with Canadian building science,” says Liao. “It was the best of both worlds.”

Zaiyi Liao

“By collaborating across cultures, the opportunities to learn and innovate are endless.”

  • (2018) Mapping Monthly Water Scarcity in Global Transboundary Basins at Country-Basin Mesh Based Spatial Resolution, Scientific Reports
  • (2017), Effect of Plant Community Structure and Road Greenbelt Width on PM2.5 Concentration, Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review, Vol 10 (2), pp 80-85
  • (2017), Study on a stepped eco-filter for treating greywater from single farm household, Applied Water Science, 7: 3849-3857, DOI 10.1007/s13201-017-0536-2
  • (2017), High-load domestic wastewater treatment using a combined anaerobic-aerobic bio-filter with coal cinder as medium, Environmental Technology, DIO 10.1080/09593330.2017.1296496
  • (2016), A Three-layer Macro-Scale Model for Simulating the Combustion of PPUF in CFD,  International Journal of Building Simulation, 9: 583-596, DOI 10.1007/s12273-016-0287-2
  • Building Automation