College of Environmental Design

Research

2014 Update

INSTITUTE FOR URBAN AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT (IURD)

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The Institute for Urban and Regional Development is managed by Interim Director Karen Chapple. Subsidiary centers of the program include the Center for Cities and Schools (CC+S), the Center for Community Innovation (CCI), the Center for Global Metropolitan Studies, the Center for Global Healthy Communities (CGHS), and the Urban Analytics Lab.

IURD researchers worked on integrating public transport investments into the fabric of communities to promote social, environmental, and economic development.  Dan Chatman and Robert Cervero recently completed a federal study on cost-effective investments in urban rail and busway systems across the US. 

CC+S, led by Deb McKoy, continued to influence regional, state, and national polies and actions through the Y-PLAN  initiative and PLUS. With a $1 million investment from the Capital One Foundation and others, Y-PLAN expanded to nine U.S. cities and six countries.

CCI researchers carried out work on promoting inclusive and equitable transit-oriented development. Led by Karen Chapple, working with Paul Waddell and Dan Chatman, as well as Paul Ong and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris from UCLA, CCI secured $800,000 in grant funding from the California Air Resources Board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The funding was used to develope a new methodology to analyze displacement impacts of transit investment, with the goal of improving Sustainable Communities Strategies (SB 375). 

CGHS, through on-going research and active engagement, continued to promote equal access to health services, urban climate justice, food security, and active places. Under the direction of Jason Corburn, researchers collaborated with counterparts at academic institutions in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Nairobi.

The Urban Analytics Lab, under the leadership of Paul Waddell, continued to produce leading edge work that links urban informatics, simulation, and visualization for simulating urban futures. With NSF support, the Lab developed 3D urban models of the evolution of cities and regions over time.

CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN RESEARCH (CEDR)

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The Center for Environmental Design and Research is led by Director Ed Arens and Associate Director Gail Brager. Subsidiary centers include the Center for the Built Environment (CBE), the Center for Resource Efficient Communities (CREC), and the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE).

CBE’s 37 industry partners provides essential support to the research program and frequently hires CED graduates. This year, there was much progress on the center’s longstanding work in personal comfort systems (PCS). PCS will be essential to California’s ability to meet its ambitious energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets. CBE’s testing of various types of PCS has demonstrated 90% comfort acceptability under indoor temperatures ranging from 64-84°F, with HVAC energy savings of over 5% for every 1°F the thermostat range is expanded. In pilot studies on the UC Berkeley campus, the decentralized PCS approach to conditioning buildings is producing HVAC energy savings of over 50% with no reduction in comfort. One device being tested is CBE’s innovative heated and cooled chair, which has been patented and is currently being licensed by a startup taking the chair to market.

CREC, directed by Louise Mozingo, focused efforts on wrapping up research on GHG emissions “co-benefits” funded by the California Air Resources Board. The study compares data on water, waste and transportation for office buildings certified under LEED-EBOM (existing buildings, operations and maintenance) to baseline values for conventional California office buildings, and offers predictions based on state standards for green buildings. Analysis reveals that LEED-EBOM buildings produced 63% fewer GHGs from water consumption, 48% less GHGs from solid waste management, and 5% less GHGs due to transportation, compared to conventional office buildings.