Category: IEQ

New Study Throws Cold Water on Widely Accepted Relationship Between Temperature and Work Performance

New Study Throws Cold Water on Widely Accepted Relationship Between Temperature and Work Performance

The results of a new study challenge an industry standard which cited an optimal indoor temperature to improve work performance. The study followed the methods of previous research, but used additional data and rigorous statistical methods. The results found no evidence for a relationship between work performance and temperatures commonly found in offices, and none that should be adopted as an industry recommendation.

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2021 Livable Building Award Winner is an Instrument for Environmental Learning

2021 Livable Building Award Winner is an Instrument for Environmental Learning

Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, has earned the 2021 Livable Building Award from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment. A program jury from CBE’s building industry consortium lauded how the “purposeful design of the building supports students and teachers by creating a diverse learning environment with seemingly endless ways to engage students.” The project is also one of the first certified zero-energy building schools nationwide.

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Alternatives to Air Conditioning: Fans as a Path to Resilience

Alternatives to Air Conditioning: Fans as a Path to Resilience

Hurricanes, wildfires, and floods produce dramatic images of destruction, but heatwaves cause more deaths in the U.S. each year. Research and new tools help us understand how fans can provide resiliency during extreme heat events. Fans may use 10 to 100 times less energy than air conditioning, reducing the impact on power grids during these events.

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Funding for California Clean Energy Entrepreneurs: Deadline Extended to March 25, 2021

Funding for California Clean Energy Entrepreneurs: Deadline Extended to March 25, 2021

CBE is one of 30 research testbeds supporting the California Test Bed Initiative, a lab-based commercialization development program for innovators and entrepreneurs working to bring early to mid-stage clean energy concepts to market. CalTestBed will award vouchers worth up to $300,000 to test and validate candidate technologies at one of nearly 30 testbeds across the UC system and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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New Comfort Classifications Acknowledge Human Variability and Encourage Occupant Control

New Comfort Classifications Acknowledge Human Variability and Encourage Occupant Control

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.

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CBE Contributing to International Research Collaboration on Resilient Cooling for Buildings

CBE Contributing to International Research Collaboration on Resilient Cooling for Buildings

CBE researchers are part of a research program on “Resilient Cooling for Buildings,” supported by an international association of governments, industry and researchers. The main objective is to support the rapid adoption of resilient, low-energy and low-carbon cooling systems for buildings. This work will also serve to help cities and communities better contend with climate-based and demand-based power outages.

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Nudging the Adaptive Thermal Comfort Model

Nudging the Adaptive Thermal Comfort Model

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.

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Working From Home During the Covid-19 Crisis: Window Views May Help Emotional States, Productivity and Comfort

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.

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New Online Design Tool Enables Accurate Design with Ceiling Fans

New Online Design Tool Enables Accurate Design with Ceiling Fans

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.

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Designing for Experiential Delight

Designing for Experiential Delight

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.

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