Central to CBE’s mission is the wide dissemination of research results, design guidance and information of value both to industry practitioners and academia. Our research has been documented in hundreds of journal papers, conference proceedings, articles, reports and “internal reports” that document preliminary findings for consortium members.
A complete list of CBE publications and reports can be found on our publication list, updated November 2021:
Papers and publications by CBE research and faculty are available on the eScholarship Repository, an open and searchable repository from the University of California:
Lessons Learned from 20 Years of CBE’s Occupant Surveys
This paper presents data collected from a widely used online POE tool: The Center for the Built Environment’s (CBE) Occupant Survey (more than 90,000 respondents from approximately 900 buildings) in order to summarize its database and evaluate the survey’s structure and benchmarking metrics. Satisfaction is highest with spaces’ ease of interaction (75% satisfied), amount of light (74%), and cleanliness (71%). Dissatisfaction is highest with sound privacy (54% dissatisfied), temperature (39%), and noise level (34%).
Integrating Smart Ceiling Fans and Communicating Thermostats to Provide Energy-Efficient Comfort
The Center for the Environment (CBE) led a research team including TRC, Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), and Big Ass Fans (BAF) for a series of laboratory tests, installation of 99 ceiling fans and 12 thermostats in four affordable multifamily housing sites in California’s Central Valley, interviews with stakeholders to develop a case study, and developed an online design tool and design guide, outlined codes and standards outreach. The field demonstration resulted in 39% measured compressor energy savings during the April–October cooling season, compared to baseline conditions, normalized for floor area. Weather-normalized energy use varied from a 36% increase to 71% savings, with median savings of 15%.
Prototyping Solutions to Improve Comfort and Enable HVAC Energy Savings
Prototyping processes are also used in scientific research to generate ideas and test hypotheses. However, these creative activities receive less attention in research papers than the quantitative methods and findings. This paper describes a resourceful and iterative process of building, refining and testing a variety of ‘personal comfort devices’ that were used in a series of research studies in labs and in occupied non-residential buildings.
The Impact of a View from a Window on Thermal Comfort, Emotion, and Cognitive Performance
This study assessed the influence of having a window with a view on thermal and emotional responses as well as on cognitive performance. Positive emotions (e.g., happy, satisfied) were higher and negative emotions (e.g., sad, drowsy) were lower for the participants in the window versus the windowless condition. Working memory and the ability to concentrate were higher for participants in the space with versus without windows, but there were no significant differences in short-term memory, planning, and creativity performance.
Reducing Building Over-Cooling by Adjusting HVAC Supply Airflow Setpoints and Providing Personal Comfort Systems
A field study demonstrated how overcooling and energy use were reduced by expanding the indoor temperature range to reduce the HVAC energy intensity, while providing personal comfort systems for 26 subjects (heated/cooled chair, footwarmer, legwarmer based on occupants’ own choices). Occupants’ satisfaction rate increased from 56% to over 80%, while HVAC zone energy use was reduced by 60% in heating and 40% in cooling.