Alex Varughese: “The possibility of change motivates me”

By Ilana Koegelenberg

Alex Varughese is a sustainability consultant at Solid Green Consulting and has big plans for his career in the ‘green’ built environment.

Alex001 webAlex Varughese of Solid Green Consulting.
Image cerdit: Solid Green

Varughese is a mechanical engineer who specialises in energy modelling and energy simulations in the built environment — from solar studies to thermal comfort analyses. He is a Green Star SA accredited professional as well as an EDGE-accredited auditor.

Getting started

His father was an air-conditioning technician for over 20 years, eventually starting his own company, Amatola Airconditioning. Varughese grew up watching his father work on air-conditioning units, hoping to one day emulate him.

As such, he went on to study mechanical engineering at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, where he was involved in a couple of student projects. He landed a training job at the Ford Engine Research Unit, testing Ford Ranger diesel engines (among others).

Varughese then returned to East London to work for his father and complete his Bachelor of Technology degree at Walter Sisulu University. Unfortunately, times were tough and the family business was sold.

Joining Solid Green

So Varughese headed to the City of Gold, joining the Solid Green Consulting team in Johannesburg. “It’s been a huge privilege to work for Solid Green,” he says. “To be the best, you have to work with the best and I enjoy working with this young, dynamic team.”

For the love of the job

Varughese is deeply passionate about what he does and enjoys working in what he calls a ‘vibrant and ever-growing industry’. “As a young engineer, you always dream about making a difference far beyond yourself.” The green building industry is alive with possibility, he explains. “I have always wanted to be a positive catalyst for change and I feel that my current role gives me that opportunity.”

His favourite part of the job is decoding the technicalities of building physics and correctly communicating the findings to the project team.

A bright future

“I am still young in the game and I have a lot more to learn,” Varughese admits. “But I have full confidence in my abilities and in those of my team.”

“The possibility of change motivates me,” he says. “We are live in exciting times and to be a part of a green movement is amazing! I am passionate about showing the world that artistry and technicality can be used in harmony in our ever-evolving world.”

Varughese has big dreams. He wants to one day become an expert and authority in the green building industry, consulting on a variety of large and complex projects — not only locally but in Africa and beyond. “And when it’s all said and done, I want to use my knowledge and experience to teach future professionals.”


As part of the Solid Green team, Varughese has been privileged to be part of some great projects like the National English Literature Museum (Grahamstown); Streetlight Schools (Jeppestown); Julius Nyerere Airport in Dar es Salam (CFD analysis); Hotel Verde in Zanzibar (daylight simulation); and Eastbourne Apartments in Australia (thermal performance analysis).

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