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.
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.
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.