Biography Henri Fennell

Henri C. Fennell, CSI/CDT

Henri Fennell is a building envelope specialist and architect with over forty years of experience in energy conservation design, products, and services. His background covers many disciplines providing a unique perspective on the real-world design and implementation of high-performance building envelopes. Mr. Fennell’s work with polyurethane foam materials began with energy-efficient demonstration projects during the energy crisis of the 1970s, including the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, his first spray foam project, in 1971. One of his senior projects at Carnegie Mellon University involved research and testing of the bonding and flexural strength in various foam-core structural insulated panel (SIP) designs. During his senior year at CMU, he became a partner in a think-tank organization that developed a patented building system that integrated a structural framing system and structural foam panels. As a partner in the spin-off company resulting from this patent, he manufactured both conventional structural molded foam panels and the specialized patented system. During this time Mr. Fennell also became a pioneer in the solar industry, developing and installing the first panelized building system which incorporated non-tracking parabolic solar collectors into the prefabricated structural enclosure system (1975). A demonstration project utilizing this system proved to be net-zero energy except for incidental plug loads (NESEA poster project 1977).

Mr. Fennell’s work experience has included positions as a practicing architect, a building envelope contractor, and a building envelope remediation and commissioning consultant. Based on years of building diagnostics and envelope commissioning, he has a broad understanding of theoretical and applied building science as related to building envelope performance and failures. Since the early 1980s he has been involved in the design and construction of what is now called micro-load buildings, including a cutting-edge net-zero energy research structure in Antarctica.

Mr. Fennell’s contracting work has included thousands of remediation, building failure, and historic renovation projects, including major projects like the Guggenheim Museum and numerous other high-profile and historic buildings. His projects have included the installation of millions of pounds of polyurethane foam. This work included the development of on-site techniques and delivery systems that made closed-cell injected polyurethane (IPF) foam insulation/sealants available to the general construction industry. He co-authored Using Infrared Thermography as Quality Control Method for Foamed-In-Place Insulation.

Mr. Fennell has authored or co-authored four energy-related U.S. patents and participated in the development of ASTM standards and other industry protocols. He has been an energy educator since 1975, making presentations and providing training to a broad range of industry audiences. He has contributed to ASHRAE Journal and other national publications and is often cited in articles related to energy conservation, materials technology, and building performance.

Related work includes foam QA and inspections, technical research, building science training, and curriculum and standards development.

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
Bachelor of Architecture