As environmental concerns become more important at
the local, regional, and global level, more awareness must be paid
to the development of sustainable buildings. Buildings are accountable
for a large portion of resources and energy in addition to producing
a substantial amount of environmental pollutants. For example, in
the USA, buildings count for one-third of the total energy and well
over one half of the electricity in the country. In developing countries,
it is important to follow more environmentally conscious paths than
earlier developments in the Western world while assuring that they
reach comparable standards of living.
The goal of this research group is to explore design,
technology and implementation of environmentally responsive urban
housing in China. Some principal goals are to minimize solar gains
in the summer, improve air quality and ventilation, and reduce energy
consumption of buildings. Investigations are brought about through
the careful design of individual building interiors and exteriors,
in addition to building groupings. Assumptions are tested through
accurate modeling and use of tools such as computational fluid dynamics.
Designs make use of local materials and building methods as well
as local building conditions and lifestyles while introducing innovative
technologies such as ground coupled heat pumps and solar-powered
dehumidification as well as incorporating traditional technologies
such as shading and natural ventilation.
Currently, we are working on a publication documenting
research on Sustainable Urban Housing in China. The book will be
available as part of the Alliance for Global Sustainbility Series.