Wildfires in the western United States have been increasing in frequency and magnitude in recent decades, resulting in poor air quality that constitutes a major environmental risk factor for human health and mortality. Researchers at CBE have created a novel software tool for smart thermostats to improve the air quality inside homes at times when outside air becomes unhealthy during wildfires.
Category: Air quality
The historic renovation and expansion of Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco has been recognized as the winner of CBE’s 2020 Livable Buildings Award. The design team conducted comprehensive carbon accounting, and the project is expected to yield net positive energy performance. Conferred annually by UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment, this program recognizes buildings that demonstrate ‘livability’ in terms of occupant satisfaction, sustainability and architectural design.
During the 2018 fires, CBE used previously-installed sensors in two University buildings to understand and evaluate building resilience to urban scale air pollution, quantifying particle penetration to the indoors from outdoors. The low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) PM2.5 sensors were accompanied by a survey of the building occupants, with questions focused on changes in their behavior, perceived air quality, self-reported productivity and health symptoms.