Berkeley Researchers Sweep Best Paper Awards

Researchers from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment and our collaborators from SinBerBEST (a Berkeley-Singapore research collaboration) led research that was awarded all three 2018 Best Paper Awards given by Building and Environment, an international journal that publishes original research related to building science and human interaction with the built environment. In addition, CBE faculty co-authored a paper recognized as the best review paper of 1998-2007 from Energy and Buildings

The Building and Environment journal received more than 3000 submissions in 2018, out of which 640 were published, and only three were selected for the award award, which is given in recognition of the papers’ originality, contributions to the field, quality of presentation, and soundness of the science. CBE Associate Director Gail Brager notes that receiving all the awards is a noteworthy achievement and particularly significant in that Building and Environment is considered one of the most distinguished journals in our field. To enable broad access to these papers, the publisher Elsevierhas made the papers free to access until June 30, 2018. Below we give an overview of the papers recognized with these awards.

Personal comfort models: Predicting individuals’ thermal preference using occupant heating and cooling behavior and machine learning

In this paper the authors document a revolutionary approach to thermal comfort modeling that predicts individuals’ thermal comfort, a more accurate method than relying on the average of a standard population. These findings resulted from CBE’s “Changing the Rules” field study that used feedback from personal comfort chairs. We wrote about it in a previous Centerline post last year.

Full citation: Kim J, Zhou Y, Schiavon S, Raftery P, Brager G. 2018. Personal comfort models: Predicting individuals’ thermal preference using occupant heating and cooling behavior and machine learning. Building and Environment, 129, 96-106. DOI

Development of the ASHRAE Global Thermal Comfort Database II

Last summer we finished assembling the largest database in the world of field study data about thermal comfort, and launches  new online tools that allow researchers and practitioners to investigate questions around thermal comfort, and to encourage the design of climate-responsive and comfortable low energy (and ZNE) buildings. The tools include an interactive visualization tool, a ‘query builder’ for expert investigations, and access the database. Details are in a Centerline post from last year.

Full citation: Földváry V, Cheung T, Zhang H, de Dear R, Parkinson T, Arens E, Chun C, Schiavon S, Luo M, Brager G, Li P, Kaam S et al. 2018. Development of the ASHRAE Global Thermal Comfort Database II. Building and Environment, 142, 502-512. DOI and data

Automated mobile sensing: Towards high-granularity agile indoor environmental quality monitoring

A challenge to accurately monitoring buildings is the cost of installing and maintaining numerous sensors throughout a building. A creative solution is described in this paper and was presented by Berkeley EECS PhD graduate Ming Jin at CBE’s advisory board meeting in 2017. Ming created an autonomous robot, dubbed the IEQ Bot, which can navigate and map a building interior, and measure indoor environmental quality with a wireless sensing platform. We posted a video of the robot here and described the panel presentation in a previous post.

Full citation: Jin M, Liu S, Schiavon S, Spanos C. 2018. Automated mobile sensing: Towards high-granularity agile indoor environmental quality monitoring. Building and Environment, 127, 268-276. DOI

Thermal adaptation in the built environment: a literature review

CBE Associate Director Gail Brager and frequent collaborator Richard de Dear received the Best Review Paper Award during 1998-2007 from Energy and Buildings. This paper is an extensive literature review on the topic of thermal adaptations in the built environment, One of the most important findings this review of field evidence was the distinction between thermal comfort responses in air-conditioned vs. naturally ventilated buildings, and represents an important contribution towards the development of the adaptive thermal comfort model.

Full citation: Brager, GS; de Dear, R., 1998. Thermal adaptation in the built environment: a literature review. Energy and Buildings, 27(1): 83-96; Feb. DOI