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.
Category: #thermal comfort
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.
Now in its twelfth year, the Livable Buildings Award recognizes projects that demonstrate high occupant satisfaction, excellent design, and innovative operation strategies. This year, we are pleased to announce the Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center as the top winner, with an honorable mention for the Pomona College Seaver Laboratory and Andrew Science Hall.
We launched a new suite of free and publicly available online resources to facilitate academic and professional studies of thermal comfort in buildings. These tools can be used to inform questions about thermal comfort, and to encourage the design of climate-responsive and comfortable low energy (and ZNE) buildings.
CBE research has quantified what we all know intuitively: ceiling fans can provide acceptable comfort at temperatures that otherwise would be stifling. This enables passive solutions in milder climates, and may reduce the reliance on air conditioning in climates where passive solutions alone are not sufficient.
In March, CBE’s research team received news of a successful proposal led by the UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute to form a new California Energy Product Evaluation (Cal-EPE) Hub. The objective of the Hub is to evaluate commercially available technologies that are relevant to institutional and commercial customer procurement processes, including products related to energy efficiency, renewable distributed generation, and distributed storage.
The emerging trend toward smart electric vehicles is creating new opportunities for synergistic innovations that are applicable to both buildings and cars. Model-based control concepts, greatly advanced by the automotive sector, are now being tested in the control of complex commercial buildings. These synergies, what we might call the building-automotive nexus, are also reflected in CBE’s body of research on thermal comfort.
This spring, CBE welcomes global HVAC manufacturer Daikin as one of its newest industry members. Having yet to fully establish themselves in North America, you could be forgiven for not recognizing their brand. However, with annual sales of over 17 billion dollars, Daikin is indeed a global leader in air conditioning equipment.
The emerging Internet of Things offers opportunities to improve how we design, measure and operate buildings. CBE’s research team conducted a six-month field demonstration of a system using IoT-connected heated and cooled office chairs. Results demonstrated high levels of comfort seen in few buildings. In addition, the data from occupants’ use of the chairs can be used to predict thermal comfort more accurately than methods previously available.
An important goal at CBE is to provide tools to assist industry professionals to create energy efficient and comfortable buildings. In 2013 we first launched the online CBE Thermal Comfort Tool as a way to help practitioners predict thermal comfort in buildings, based on ASHRAE Standard 55. We are excited to announce expanded capabilities in the most recent version of the tool.