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Improving Indoor Comfort While Using Less Energy

Edward Arens, Ph.D. and Gail S Brager, Ph.D., Center for the Built Environment, UC Berkeley
Jul 12, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3, Sacramento
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The energy and environmental consequences of conditioning buildings are immense, and becoming more so around the world.  In the United States, buildings consume 38% of the nation’s energy consumption, and about 80% of this is for heating, cooling, ventilating, and lighting. The engineering and architecture professions need to invest maximum creative effort into improving the efficiency by which our indoor climates are produced. There are two main components to the energy use problem in buildings: the buildings themselves (their architectural form and their environmental conditioning systems) and the people who occupy and operate the buildings. As much as possible of the climate tempering should come from naturally occurring sources, to reduce the energy consumed through equipment and lights. Energy-intensive conditioning should be locally confined, if possible, to where the occupants are, and ideally in a way that provides occupants with some form of personal control to meet their individual preferences. We also need more sophisticated models of occupant needs and behavior, so that climates are controlled only as needed: when, where, and how much. This talk provides an overview of current and recent research addressing these issues at the Center for the Built Environment at UC Berkeley.

E_ArensEdward Arens, PhD, is Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley, and Director of the Center for the Built Environment.  He received his PhD in Architectural Science in 1972 from the University of Edinburgh, UK, and also holds a BA in architectural history and Masters degrees in Forestry and Urban Studies from Yale University.  Prof. Arens started UCB’s Building Science Laboratory in 1980 after heading the Architectural Research Section at the National Bureau of Standards.  His research interests are in building design and operation for comfort and energy conservation, architectural aerodynamics and microclimate, and innovative building mechanical systems and controls.  He is one of the lead faculty in CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society), investigating personal comfort systems and new ways of combining information from physical sensors and occupant surveys in order to operate buildings more effectively.  He has served extensively in technical and standards roles in ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers), and in 1981 co-founded SBSE (Society of Building Science Educators).

G_BragerGail S. Brager, PhD, is Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley, and Associate Director of the Center for the Built Environment.  She received her PhD and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, and a BS in Mechanical and Environmental Engineering from UC Santa Barbara.  Her research interests include thermal comfort and adaptive mechanisms, operable windows for natural ventilation and mixed-mode cooling, climate-responsive building design, and curriculum materials development.  Prof. Brager is currently a member, and was the first Chair of the Research Committee of the US Green Building Council.  She is actively involved with ASHRAE as a Fellow, a recipient of ASHRAE’s Distinguished Service and Nevins Awards, and has served as the Vice-Chair of SSPC 55 (Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy), Chair of TC 2.1 (Physiology and Human Comfort) and President of the S.F. Bay Area Golden Gate Chapter.

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