Yonas Berhe – Retrofit Designer

Tell us a bit about your role at VOR?  

I am a retrofit designer, I am involved in the design and retrofit coordination of projects at VOR, primarily working with Phil as part of the design team. I also measure building surveys (MBS) and produce existing drawings (using Revit/CAD) to enable design and full technical tender packs to comply with PAS2035.  

Another part of my role is to complete retrofit design documents and conduct site inspection visits. I ensure work is carried out according to the design document set out by VOR.   

What do you do in your free time?   

I belong to the Tigrai Orthodox Church and spend time managing their community and raising awareness of the issues affecting the community in Tigrai. I also watch movies, YouTube and play football.  

What is your background? How did you come to work with VOR?  

I am a Masters of Architecture (MArch-ARB/RIBA) graduate from UWE Bristol. I also completed my undergraduate degree in Architecture (BSc-ARB/RIBA) in 2020. During the summer of 2022, I had an opportunity to intern at VOR. Once I had completed that, I was given a chance to stay, which I did! 

What qualifications have you worked towards to support your job?   

I have started the final stage of my qualifications to become a Chartered Architect (Part 3) this year. I’m gaining more experience in the retrofit sector and I will also look to become a qualified retrofit coordinator.   

Looking back on your career to date, tell us a bit about the best project you have worked on and why?  

No major career projects yet, but in my final year of uni, I worked on a project which questioned the notion of information distribution and the role of the media. I designed a media centre that allows people to tell their stories and store information securely.   

Tell us a bit about why you are interested in improving energy efficiency and sustainability in building?   

It is the only option if we want a sustainable world and to ensure that people can live in homes that are comfortable, affordable and that they can thrive in.   

What do you think is the biggest obstacle for people considering improving the energy efficiency of their homes?   

Cost and a lack of knowledge.  

What measures have you taken in your own home?   

EWI, new boiler and trickle vents.  

Any other interesting facts about you?  

I can speak three languages: English, Tigrean, and Amharic (and I used to speak Arabic).