This fall CBE welcomes new leadership who will work to guide the center’s research and represent the interests of CBE industry consortium members. Partner Chair Andy Reilman, the Managing Principal with Integral Group’s Los Angeles office, takes on his role after serving as vice chair. Andy will be supported by the new Partner Vice-Chair Isabelle Lavedrine, a Business Development Consultant with CPP Wind Engineering, elected this spring by CBE’s partners. We extend our sincere thanks to the former chair Gwelen Paliaga, Technical Director with TRC Advanced Energy Services, for his leadership over several years.
The diversity of CBE’s industry consortium is unique and beneficial to our work, as these perspectives inform the center’s directions and shape its research portfolio. However, such varied feedback comes with challenges, and we rely heavily on CBE’s partner leaders to help focus and inform the discussion between CBE’s research team and its members. At CBE’s semi-annual partner events, partner leaders facilitate the business meetings, and they also collaborate with us when questions arise between meetings. CBE recently chatted with CBE’s new leadership to learn about their insights and aspirations.
How do you see your new roles as chair and vice chair?
Isabelle: Andy and I have two related roles. When Andy is not at the partner meeting, I take the lead. I want to get partners to talk about issues that CBE is not addressing, but might be. For example, things like electrification and other long term goals.
Andy: Yes, we are partnering to back each other up, and to efficiently lead the review of research topics and getting consensus. This is simple but we need to make it efficient, as members’ time is limited.
What are some of the things you would like to pursue as you take over the partner leadership?
Andy: My goals relate to getting more rapid cycling of research. Also we don’t hear enough from the partners, besides the survey forms at meetings, so we need more opinions from them. It would also be great to have more of the research directed to address the current needs of industry and California, and obviously beyond California. You have students and faculty, so you have to have both interested in the topics, this is a challenge.
Isabelle: I agree, in industry people always want something faster. This might be addressed by shorter projects that are smaller but delivered faster.
What are some of the most important ways that CBE has impacted your work, your company’s work, and the building industry at large?
Andy: At Integral Group we see the results in three main buckets. Number one is the tools, like those for thermal comfort and radiant systems design. Number two is the documented research design guides and resources, like the UFAD guide, and also myth-busting related to new design ideas. Third is the field research, I would include the occupant survey as part of this. These all have appreciable benefits to the industry at large, and this impacts our work at Integral. A few years ago I saw CBE’s study of ceiling fans with high metabolite rates, on exercise bikes. I then went to a meeting with clients designing basketball practice spaces and said we should be putting ceiling fans in practice rooms. They didn’t do it in that case, but we have lots of projects with fans. Speaking of fans, that is one technology that needs a guide, I know CBE is working on this, it will be useful.
Isabelle: At CPP we rely on the study we did with CBE on comfort with natural ventilation when we do natural ventilation optimization. I also to meet a lot of engineers and architects at these meeting, that is part of my role too. I love seeing the people, some I see just once a year at the CBE meetings, so I get disappointed to learn when someone leaves!
Can you talk about ways CBE can grow and can extend its impact?
Isabelle: We can remind the partners we already have to talk to people they know. And we want to expand the use of the CBE survey. The architects and engineers are convinced of the value of CBE, now we should get more developers, contractors and facade contractors.
Andy: We can remind partners of what they get by participating. We are here to drive this research, to gain benefits from it, and to spread the word for CBE. And we can have a debate on many topics on a neutral ground.
Isabelle: Right, when CBE presents something it’s not a sales pitch, it comes from a third party.
Andy: We can be brainstorming about possible new partners, this is one of our roles. CBE could also do a yearly impact report, like an infographic that tallies all the useful results, tell a story what has come out of the research, and where the graduates from the program gone. Many are at partner firms and other places doing important work. There are many ways we can leverage what CBE has accomplished. We need to be enthusiastic about all this good work.
Isabelle: Right, we need to aim high!