Dr Adele Leah

Dr Adele Leah profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Architecture

Qualifications & Affiliations

PhD (NZ); B Arch (UK); BA Hons Arch (UK); PGCE (UK).

Member of the UK Architects Registration Board (ARB); the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); and affiliated member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA).


Adele joined the School of Architecture as Senior Lecturer in Professional Practice in February 2017. Adele is a UK qualified and registered architect with work experience in both the public and private sectors. Adele was working as an architect in the UK until 2011, when she was awarded a Victoria Doctoral Scholarship to undertake PhD research in the School of Architecture under the supervision of Professor Brenda Vale and Dr Nigel Isaacs. Following the completion of her PhD, Adele spent a year working as Architectural Advisor for Wellington City Council before returning to the School of Architecture as Teaching Fellow in 2016. Adele is in her first academic position, she is a new and emerging researcher and currently works two days per week.

Research Interests

Adele’s particular fields of expertise are embodied energy analysis and housing analysis. Adele’s PhD research included both quantitative and qualitative analysis, and involved the development of a hybrid analysis method for housing, through the study of workers housing built during the late 1920s in both the UK and NZ. Adele’s thesis is significant firstly, as it makes an important contribution to the understanding of how buildings perform not only in the short term, but also in the medium and long term, and secondly, in the development of a tool which can be applied in other cases.

Adele’s research is characterised by robust methodology, in depth and thorough analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, and clear communication. In addition to the research area described above, Adele is currently researching and publishing in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Architecture in the areas of housing and disability, and building materials and health.

Adele holds qualified teacher status in the UK, and is a member of the School of Architecture Learning and Teaching Committee. Adele is course coordinator for the fourth year paper in Professional Practice, and is passionate about preparing students for their transition from 'school to practice', and the much debated process of 'making architects'.


Leah, A., & McIntosh, J. (2017). Projecting disability in New Zealand. New Zealand Population Review, 43, 135-153.

McIntosh, J., & Leah, A. (2017). Mapping housing for the disabled in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1457), 69-78.

Leah, A. (2017). The Bullitt Center: A “Living Building”. In E. Petrovic, B. Vale, & M. Pedersen Zari (Eds.), Materials for a Healthy, Ecological and Sustainable Built Environment Principles for Evaluation. Woodhead Publishing.

Mcintosh, J., & Leah, A. (2017). Mapping Housing for the Disabled. In Australasian Housing Researchers Conference (AHRC). University of Auckland.

McIntosh, J., Campays, P., & Leah, A. (2016). Then, now; now, then: Relocating Tokelau. International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, 10(1), 63-77.

McIntosh, J., Campays, P., & Leah, A. (2015). Empowerment through collaboration: community, educator, museum. International Journal of Civic Engagement and Social Change, 2(3), 21-35.

Leah, A. (2015). Lifestyle and Embodied Energy: a Proposed Hybrid Analysis Method for Housing. (PhD Thesis).

Leah, A., Vale, B., & Isaacs, N. (2014). The Tarikaka Settlement: 85 years of change. In Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference (pp. 373-391).

Leah, A., Vale, B., & Isaacs, N. (2013). Housing Analysis: Learning from Oral Interviews. In Lost in Conversation: Constructing the Oral History of Modern Architecture. University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Leah, A., Vale, B., & Isaacs, N. (2013). A Proposed Hybrid Analysis Method for Housing. In Housing Studies Association (HSA) Conference. University of York, England.

Leah, A. L., Vale, B., & Isaacs, N. (2013). Housing for Workers: Eighty Years of Adaptation. In Housing Studies Association (HSA) Conference. University of York, England.

PhD Supervision

Ms Quynh Huong Pham Nguyen. Working Title: Corporation's Social Responsibility (CSR) in the Construction Industry (to commence Jan 2018).


NZ must prepare for increase of disabled poor

Building a more sustainable future for housing