In an April seminar hosted by the MIT Energy Initiative, Dr. Gail Brager, a professor at the University of California, Berekeley, discussed her views that too many buildings harm the planet without properly serving their occupants. Buildings contribute roughly 40% of the total US greenhouse gas emissions, and 80% of their energy use is for heating, cooling, ventilating, and lighting. Yet research shows there are still high levels of occupant dissatisfaction with indoor environmental quality, and this can have profound impacts on people’s health, comfort, performance, and overall well-being. Using a range of research examples, Professor Brager’s presentation described new ways of studying, designing, and operating buildings to improve both energy and comfort performance, which must be simultaneous goals of a high-performance building.
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