We are saddened by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other innocent Black lives at the hands of police and vigilantes. We share the outrage that has been erupting in demonstrations in all 50 states and around the world, and we recognize that systemic racism leads to unequal access to economic opportunity, health outcomes and environmental justice. As sustainability professionals, we can catalyze change by leveraging our skills as designers, builders and planners, and by striving to diversify our profession.
Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota, Harris is a leading national mechanical contractor specializing in design and engineering, construction, controls, service, manufacturing, conveyors and end-to-end building systems with over 70 years of experience. From power plants to hospitals, stadiums to concert halls, Harris brings a spirit of creative problem solving and a commitment to excellence in delivery to every project, no matter the size, complexity or location.
New CBE Partner JLG Architects: Explorers of Design Excellence, Community Engagement and Quality of Life
Joining CBE’s consortium this spring, JLG Architects has won national accolades for both its design portfolio and for its highly supportive work environment, gaining recognition as one of the ‘50 Most Admired Companies’ in America by MSN Money, as one of ‘50 Best Places to Work’ by Inc. magazine, and as ‘2019 Design Firm of the Year’ by ENR Mountain States.
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.
Using an extensive trove of thermal comfort research data, CBE’s research team recently published a set of ‘nudges’ to the existing adaptive comfort standards to improve comfort in commercial buildings while potentially reducing energy use. This work updates the landmark study from 1998 by Gail Brager and Richard de Dear on the Adaptive Comfort Model (ACM), which demonstrated that people in naturally ventilated buildings were more comfortable with seasonal temperature variation compared to people in air-conditioned buildings.
Working From Home During the Covid-19 Crisis: Window Views May Help Emotional States, Productivity and Comfort
Millions of people are working at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, creating stress and impacting our well-being and productivity. Science shows that time spent in nature may improve our health and emotions, however, when we are not able to be in nature physically, we may derive benefits simply by access to windows with views. A study recently published by CBE found that a view from a window has positive impacts on emotion, cognitive performance and thermal comfort.
CBE recently launched an online tool for designing with ceiling fans, making it easier for designers to create highly energy efficient and comfortable spaces. The tool was created based on years of research that have demonstrated that ceiling fans can keep a person cool while using only a fraction of the energy required by air conditioning.
Joining CBE this spring, McKinstry is a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings. With offices throughout the U.S., their mission is to make every building they touch more efficient.
CBE researchers, students and visiting scholars will present recent findings and design tools at the 2020 ASHRAE Winter Conference on February 1-5 in Orlando.
As we count down the days until the start of a new decade, it’s a good time to reflect on this year’s events, including ones that have increased our sense of urgency for environmental concerns. Here at CBE, our research team is celebrating number of important milestones along our path to improve the way buildings are designed, operated and occupied. In this blog post we highlight some of our accomplishments from 2019.