Robyn Phipps (Victoria University, Wellington)

Robyn Phipps

Professor of Building Science, and Program Director of the Building Science Programs at the Schools of Architecture and Design

Victoria University of Wellington

Professor Robyn Phipps is the Professor of Building Science, and Program Director of the Building Science Programs at the Schools of Architecture and Design at Victoria University of Wellington. She has extensively researched the performance of homes, schools and offices including heating, ventilation and energy efficiency and low carbon buildings. She developed postgraduate courses on Indoor Air Quality and the Design and Management of Healthy Buildings. Universal design and health and safety are further research area. She is dedicated to creating environments that promote wellbeing for the occupants and the workers that make the buildings.

She is Co-Director of the He Kainga Oranga Healthy Housing Research Group that was presented with the 2014 Prime Ministers Science Research Team Prize. She is a Director of the New Zealand Green Building Council and a Trustee of the Property Foundation and founding member of the New Zealand Indoor Air Quality Research Centre. She is a past Chair and Deputy Chair of the Indoor Air Quality Special Interest Group of CASANZ.


Research interests

  • Performance of homes, schools and offices including heating, ventilation and energy efficiency and low carbon buildings;
  • Indoor air quality and the design and management of healthy buildings;
  • Universal design and health and safety.



20 November 2023

Healthy indoor air is a fundamental necessity and poor indoor air quality is responsible for both economic costs and loss of life. New Zealand studies have indicated the presence of pollutants in homes. Preliminary findings from an ongoing study shows that indoor personal exposure of some chemicals appears high.


30 November 2022

Over the last 12 months, the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 ventilation programme, in collaboration with its advisory group of ventilation experts, have carried out a series of targeted studies which enhanced the understanding of the role of natural ventilation and informed our ventilation guidance to schools.



15 January 2022

Associations between house characteristics and inspector-assessed subjective indoor dampness (yes/no) and measured floor and ceiling joist timber moisture were measured, using the 2005, 2010 and 2015 New Zealand House Condition Surveys, involving 1572 timber-framed houses. We conducted logistic (dampness) and linear regression (moisture) for each survey separately and mutually adjusted for other house characteristics (ventilation, insulation, subfloor defects, building envelope condition (BEC) defects, tenure, number of occupants), climate zone (latitude), rainfall and outdoor temperature.


18 March 2020

This study investigates the thermal efficiency of a solar air heater (SAH), when it was mounted on a custom-made support frame, and was operated under different air mass flow rate.


1 March 2019

Children are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution and as they spend a large proportion of time at school, this is an important environment for children’s exposure to air pollution. Understanding the factors that influence indoor air quality in schools is critical for the assessment and control of indoor air pollution.


12 April 2018

A low-cost, low power consumption indoor environment monitoring device, called SKOMOBO (SKOol Monitoring Box), was developed. SKOMOBO includes the sensors to monitor temperature/relative humidity, carbon dioxide, particulate matter (PM) and motion (PIR). SKOMOBO was developed using the open source software on Arduino Pro Mini.


27 February 2018

This seminar-style course provided an essential introduction to what air pollution is and what issues are unique to New Zealand. This course explored how air pollution affects the health and wellbeing of people and what factors we can change to reduce the numbers of hospital admissions and deaths due to air pollution.


15 May 2017

The purpose of this study was to determine the environmental impacts associated with a deep energy efficiency refurbishment using life cycle assessment. A prototypical refurbished model of an office building located in Auckland, New Zealand was used as a case study. The refurbishment included major changes to the building envelope with additional insulation, modified wall-window ratio, solar shading as well as technical replacement of the lighting and HVAC system.


7 September 2013

2013 Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand conference proceedings.