KieranTimberlake, an award-winning Philadelphia-based architecture firm, joins CBE as an industry partner. Throughout its 35-year commitment to advancing the field of architecture, they have paired research with design. Their practice is transdisciplinary — out of 100 full-time staff, 14 are dedicated to its Research Group and represent the fields of ecology, chemistry, physics, anthropology, materials engineering, and architecture.
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.
The diversity of CBE’s industry consortium is unique and beneficial to our work, as these perspectives inform the center’s directions and research portfolio. This fall CBE welcomes new leadership who will help to guide the research team and represent the interests of CBE industry consortium members. In this post we talk with the new Partner Chair Andy Reilman and our new Partner Vice-Chair Isabelle Lavedrine.
Biophilia — humans’ innate love of nature — is an idea that has inspired wide-ranging research on the benefits of human connection with nature. So how do we translate this wealth of research knowledge into making buildings that capture the benefits of nature? CBE and SERA Architects are jointly developing a biophilia option for CBE’s occupant survey to evaluate the impact of biophilic features in existing workspaces.
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.
During the 2018 fires, CBE used previously-installed sensors in two University buildings to understand and evaluate building resilience to urban scale air pollution, quantifying particle penetration to the indoors from outdoors. The low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) PM2.5 sensors were accompanied by a survey of the building occupants, with questions focused on changes in their behavior, perceived air quality, self-reported productivity and health symptoms.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of a seminal paper from Rocky Mountain Institute, “Greening the Building and the Bottom Line,” making the case that green buildings’ unique features may improve employee productivity. Since then interest in this topic has remained strong, and several studies by CBE and others have contributed to our collective understanding of workplace productivity; in this post we describe our related work with a focus on key variables.
Joining CBE’s industry consortium this spring, Red Car Analytics specializes in building systems advising, performance diagnostics, policy and research, commissioning, and energy modeling. Their mission is to help create an industry feedback loop of effective solutions to decarbonize today’s buildings.
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.
CBE has released an interactive web-based tool for the early phases of design of high thermal mass radiant systems, that may be used to predict steady-state conditions for both heating and cooling modes, greatly facilitating a standard design practice. However it can also predict dynamic (transient) performance for cooling, taking into account the effects of changing loads and the effects of thermal mass of the building structure.