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2021 in Review: A Year of Resilience and Adaptation

As we approach the end of 2021, we pause to reflect on the events of the past twelve months. Although we have all endured a second year of a global pandemic, we are encouraged by so much progress that is cross-cutting among academic, business and government sectors. In this year-end post we summarize on how we adapted to challenges and look forward to the promise of 2022.

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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

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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CBE Alumni Approach Sustainability via Building Performance, Material Science and Data Management

CBE’s research activities provide a unique training ground for UC Berkeley students to learn advanced skills in building science, often in collaboration with CBE’s consortium of industry leaders. Our graduates have gone on to highly successful careers, including many in leadership positions, in the building sector and beyond. In this Centerline post, we catch up with three alumni — Kit Elsworth, Soazig Kaam, and Sara Tepfer — to learn about their current work roles, what inspires them, and where they are headed.

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CBE in the News See all

The Science Behind Those Comfy, Cozy Holiday Feelings

We know, instinctually, that the way our homes look can affect how we feel — but it’s less clear how to produce the specific feelings we want. In this article, Lindsay T. Graham, PhD, shares her expertise in the psychology of space and some of the research she has done in residential spaces.

Psychology and the Post-Pandemic Workplace

In this free e-book from the American Psychological Association (APA), CBE researcher Lindsay T. Graham, PhD, discusses workplace wellbeing and the need to reimagine the workplace (including the psychological needs of occupants) as we re-enter office buildings in some capacity as pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Livable Buildings Awards

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Now in its fourteenth year, the Livable Buildings Awards recognize projects that demonstrate high occupant satisfaction, excellent design, and innovative operation strategies.

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