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Title: Creating high performance buildings: Lower energy, better comfort

Buildings play a critical role in the challenge of mitigating and adapting to climate change. It is estimated that buildings contribute 39% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions [1] primarily due to their operational energy use, and about 80% of this building energy use is for heating, cooling, ventilating, and lighting. An important premise of this paper is about the connection between energy and comfort. They are inseparable when one talks about high performance buildings. Worldwide data suggests that we are significantly overcooling buildings in the summer, resulting in increased energy use and problems with thermal comfort. In contrast, in naturally ventilated buildings without mechanical cooling, people are comfortable in much warmer temperatures due to shifting expectations and preferences as a result of occupants having a greater degree of personal control over their thermal environment; they have also become more accustomed to variable conditions that closely reflect the natural rhythms of outdoor climate patterns. This has resulted in an adaptive comfort zone that offers significant potential for encouraging naturally ventilated buildings to improve both energy use and comfort. Research on other forms for providing individualized control through low-energy personal comfort systems (desktop fans, foot warmed, and heated andmore » cooled chairs) have also demonstrated enormous potential for improving both energy and comfort performance. Studies have demonstrated high levels of comfort with these systems while ambient temperatures ranged from 64–84°F. Energy and indoor environmental quality are inextricably linked, and must both be important goals of a high performance building.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Center for the Built Environment, 390 Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1839 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22391278
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1652; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 3. Conference on the Physics of Sustainable Energy: Using Energy Efficiently and Producing It Renewably, Berkeley, CA (United States), 8-9 Mar 2014; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; AMBIENT TEMPERATURE; BUILDINGS; CLIMATIC CHANGE; CONTROL; COOLING; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; GREENHOUSE GASES; HEATING; PERFORMANCE; THERMAL COMFORT