What’s driving building science research?

Climate change is moving faster than we expected. With this rapid change comes new technologies as well as rapidly changing needs for research in building science, as we try to mobilize rapidly in order to measurably reduce carbon emissions within years instead of decades.

For example, the success of solar photovoltaic electricity, coupled with heat pumps, are resulting in a push for electrification of buildings, but how can these technologies be optimized with new envelope technologies? As another example, LED lighting has also been a dramatic success, but this means that the optimum strategies for daylighting need to be changed: Less energy use means lower potential electricity savings from daylighting, so we can and must adjust window/glazing sizes and locations to reduce thermal losses, and this requires advanced modeling. And research needs also extend to areas of behavioral science: As we reduce energy use in heating and cooling, relatively more energy is used in appliances and other plug loads, and these have become a new frontier in building science. Research needs also have become more “applied”: How can we reduce the costs of already-proven technologies, how can we accelerate their adoption, how can we reach “scale” rapidly? It’s all hands on deck, and we need our best and brightest to tackle these increasingly well-defined research needs.

Join Taitem founder Ian Shapiro at the SyracuseCoE Research & Technology Forum on December 13th, where he will discuss how climate reality and emerging technologies are driving building science research.

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