The Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Performance-Integrated Design (LIPID) is one of the two (ultimately five) ‘mirror’ labs for the EPFL Middle East campus. Synergistic research and education initiatives are being developed with a focus on climate as a driver for building envelope performance. Research at the interface between design and performance is of primary interest in today’s energy and environmental context in Western countries and cool-temperate to warm-temperate environments. But it is even more critical in a hot-arid climate that imposes extreme environmental conditions and where overly glazed envelopes pose particularly serious comfort and energy issues.