Nicholas Rajkovich, PhD, AIA

Associate Professor - Department of Architecture - 317B Hayes Hall - (716) 829-6910

Nicholas Rajkovich speaking at the “From Sandy to Snowvember: Climate Change and Buildings in New York State Symposium” in 2016.

Nicholas B. Rajkovich, Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo, investigates the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change. By studying how the built environment adapts to extreme weather and climate change, Rajkovich works to solve problems that may plague cities of the future.

As a professor and mentor, Rajkovich puts an emphasis on one-to-one critiques and consultations with his students. Rajkovich also enjoys the challenges presented by a large class and finding ways to engage various learning styles, often involving his students in research on climate-resilient strategies for application by architects, engineers, planners, and policy makers.

Before joining the University at Buffalo, Rajkovich worked for a gas and electric company in California, PG&E. There, he was brought on to teach classes on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Disillusionment with his employer's efforts to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions led Rajkovich back to school to focus on policy work. Rajkovich would go on to earn his PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan. He was also chair of the San Francisco American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment.

Prior to PG&E, Nicholas taught several courses on lighting, acoustics, and building systems in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University. He also worked as an associate at Einhorn Yaffee Prescott in Albany, NY, where he helped architects and engineers reduce the overall environmental impact of buildings under contract to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the U.S. Department of State. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.

We need to prepare communities to bounce back, or even bounce forward, so that they're in better shape to adapt to climate change.

 - Nicholas Rajkovich on climate resilience

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Climate change, according to Rajkovich, is a “tremendously difficult thing that our field is going to deal with."

The challenge is not limited to new construction, but the hundreds of thousands of buildings with outdated, inefficient systems. Buildings account for one-third of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. "I would like to see our profession prosper, but they will have to step up. This is something that we should be leading and have a strong hand in."

A fire following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused extensive damage in Breezy Point, New York.

A fire following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused extensive damage in Breezy Point, New York.

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