ImaginationLancaster and the Latin American Passivhaus Institute sign a Memorandum of Understanding

ImaginationLancaster is delighted to announce that the Latin American Passivhaus Institute (ILAPH) is officially a Strategic Partner. Thanks to the £13.2m secured by ImaginationLancaster in 2019 from the Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund, ImaginationLancaster’s research has grown and reached new places through the Beyond Imagination project. ILAPH has demonstrated to be a strategic partner and an actor of change in Latin America, pushing for innovative solutions putting world-leading research into practice to provide a near-zero carbon future.

To consolidate and demonstrate our commitment to continue working together, Lancaster University and ILAPH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in early October 2021. The MoU signing ceremony was online, and representatives from Lancaster University and the Latin American Passivhaus Institute attended. Lancaster University was represented by Prof Paul Connolly, Dean of the Faculty Dean (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences); Prof Alan Marsden, Head of Department (Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts); Prof Leon Cruickshank, Director of ImaginationLancaster; Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, Co-Director of the Future Cities Institute; Dr Alejandro Moreno-Rangel, Research Associate; and Gemma Coupe, Beyond Imagination Impact Manager. The Latin American Passivhaus Institute (ILAPH) was represented by Dr Marcelo Huenchiñir, ILAPH’s President and Juan Manuel Vazquez, ILAPH’s Executive Director.

The MoU represents the vision of two institutions to work together to deliver research and engage with communities where it is needed the most. While COVID-19 impacted how we work, it also opened many doors, particularly connecting people who might not have met otherwise. Certainly, this was the case when ImaginationLancaster approached the Latin American Passivhaus Institute more than a year ago, and Lancaster University found in them an ally to work and deliver this shared vision.

ILAPH’s idea of promoting and delivering the Passivhaus standard in Latin America to improve people’s quality of life resonated with ImaginationLancaster’s research interests. It might have been strange for ILAPH that some academics on the other side of the world reached out to work together. Although we had some limitations at the beginning, as we learned together: ‘where there is desire, there is a will, and where there is a will, there is a way.’ We have put several hours together to develop joint publications, research bids and plan public engagement activities. Up to date, Lancaster University and ILAPH have delivered ten Passivhaus Designer scholarships, one research project, formed a network of collaborators and academics to develop Passivhaus research in Latin America, worked together on the first Latin American Passivhaus Conference, and published two working documents as digital books.

“This is only the beginning of many new collaborations; the world is ahead of us.”