Dec. 19, 2018
Recent architecture doctoral graduate Caroline Karmann dedicated her time as a College of Environmental Design student and working professional to improving the environmental air quality in buildings while increasing energy efficiency. As a graduate student researcher for the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at UC Berkeley, her work focused on indoor environmental quality in conjunction with the use of radiant systems.
Caroline was recognized with the Best Paper Award at the 34th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture in Hong Kong for her paper titled, “Occupant satisfaction in 60 radiant and all-air buildings: Comparing thermal comfort and acoustical quality.” The paper’s co-authors include CBE faculty and researchers Stefano Schiavon, Lindsay T. Graham, Paul Raftery, and Fred Bauman.
For this study, Caroline sought to add more robust data to a shared radiant building database by implementing an occupant survey in 20 buildings using radiant systems. In doing so, she and fellow researchers were able to assemble the largest dataset used in a comparison of occupant satisfaction in radiant versus all-air conditioned buildings. Her paper presented findings from surveys completed by 3,892 respondents in 60 office buildings in North America, 34 of which used all-air systems, and 26 of which used radiant systems as the primary conditioning system. The results indicate that radiant and all-air conditioned spaces have equal perceived indoor environmental quality, including acoustic and air quality satisfaction, with a tendency towards improved temperature satisfaction in radiant buildings.
Caroline has more than five years international experience at engineering and design firms Transsolar and Arup. She received her Ph.D. in Building Science from UC Berkeley in 2017 and recently joined the Laboratory of Integrated Performance in Design at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne as a postdoctoral scholar.
To discover more studies in thermal comfort at UC Berkeley, visit cbe.berkeley.edu.