Imagine an ice cream parlor that offers only one flavor of ice cream, one chosen by scientists based on what an ‘average’ person wants. While this idea seems absurd, a similar logic has been used in establishing standards for thermal comfort in buildings. A group of CBE staff, industry partners and others have developed a revision to thermal comfort standards that acknowledges the variability in human comfort preferences.
Using an extensive trove of thermal comfort research data, CBE’s research team recently published a set of ‘nudges’ to the existing adaptive comfort standards to improve comfort in commercial buildings while potentially reducing energy use. This work updates the landmark study from 1998 by Gail Brager and Richard de Dear on the Adaptive Comfort Model (ACM), which demonstrated that people in naturally ventilated buildings were more comfortable with seasonal temperature variation compared to people in air-conditioned buildings.
Working From Home During the Covid-19 Crisis: Window Views May Help Emotional States, Productivity and Comfort
Millions of people are working at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, creating stress and impacting our well-being and productivity. Science shows that time spent in nature may improve our health and emotions, however, when we are not able to be in nature physically, we may derive benefits simply by access to windows with views. A study recently published by CBE found that a view from a window has positive impacts on emotion, cognitive performance and thermal comfort.
CBE recently launched an online tool for designing with ceiling fans, making it easier for designers to create highly energy efficient and comfortable spaces. The tool was created based on years of research that have demonstrated that ceiling fans can keep a person cool while using only a fraction of the energy required by air conditioning.
CBE researchers, students and visiting scholars will present recent findings and design tools at the 2020 ASHRAE Winter Conference on February 1-5 in Orlando.
Building standards and conventional practice are all about ’reducing the negative‘ — but what if the goal is to ’enhance the positive‘ instead? Aiming to create environments that are not only comfortable and healthy, but are connected to nature, provide a sense of place, and are a delight to be in. Designing for experience requires us to embrace a broader view of experiential aesthetics, going beyond the primacy of vision to recognize broader sensual qualities that contribute to the beauty and memorability of space.
Innovation is all about answering the question: “What if?” For example, what if we could transfer the latest research for monitoring and controlling building environments to vehicle environments? Questions like this are driving the future of mobility for Lear Innovation Ventures, a new CBE partner focused on accelerating the pace of innovation and collaboration around autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility trends.
This spring CBE’s research team received funding to support two new projects that will create new ways to gather, analyze and monetize data from commercial buildings, yielding energy cost savings and more comfort for building users.
Companies aspiring to sustainability and wellness have focused on managing workplace indoor environmental quality (IEQ), however undertaking IEQ measurements in a reliable manner can be challenging. In this post we discuss why continuous monitoring technologies are ideal for evaluating building IEQ performance.
Researchers from CBE and our collaborators from SinBerBEST (a Berkeley-Singapore research collaboration) were 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.