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Recent wildfire smoke has greatly impacted air quality in the Bay Area. Experts from the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) weigh in on tips and resources for the public. Brett Singer and Woody Delp are internationally recognized experts in the field of indoor air quality. Singer is a Principal Investigator, Staff Scientist and Leader in the Indoor Air group; Delp is a Research Engineer in the Indoor Environment Group and the Whole Building Systems... Read More
In a recent Facebook post, Energy Secretary Rick Perry lauds the DOE’s national labs and “the incredible work... Read More
Most of us spend the majority of our lives indoors, which puts the importance of indoor air quality research in perspective. Brett Singer's recent presentation about indoor air quality research, given at this year's Westford Symposium on Building Science in Westford, Massachusetts, has inspired a series of posts at the... Read More
Affordable indoor air quality monitors for the home can be worth the purchase, a recent product evaluation revealed, but all of the monitors tested by researchers were found to have either underreported or missed the presence of very small particles that can penetrate deeply into the lungs.
Indoor air researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently tested seven consumer-grade air quality... Read More
Ever wonder why it’s difficult to concentrate when office temperatures rise?
A July 16, 2018 segment of NPR’s "Morning edition — Heat Making You Lethargic? Research Shows It Can Slow Your Brain, Too" - cites a 2006 Berkeley Lab study, "Effect of temperature on task performance in office environment" co-authored by William Fisk of the Sustainable Energy & Environmental Systems Department, which found that when office temperatures rise above... Read More
Ravi Prasher has been appointed Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Technologies at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The announcement follows an international search.
Prasher, an internationally renowned scientist in the field of thermal energy science and technologies, has been director of Berkeley Lab's... Read More
After serving four years as Berkeley Lab's Associate Director for Energy Technologies, Ramamoorthy Ramesh will be returning to his research in ultra low-power electronics while also helping to lead a major Berkeley Lab research initiative in next-generation, energy-efficient microelectronics.
This new initiative has been dubbed "Beyond Moore's Law," as it seeks the solution to what will happen when Moore's Law — which holds that the number of... Read More
Indoor air quality in schools often fails to meet minimum standards, and student performance is clearly diminished when ventilation rates are low, according to a recent analysis from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide have been documented in schools across the U.S., Europe and Asia, the study finds. "These CO2 data indicate a widespread failure to provide the minimum amount of ventilation... Read More
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was recently honored with a prestigious Green Leadership Award at the 12th Annual Green California Summit in Sacramento.
The Lab's Energy Technologies Area (ETA) was highlighted for innovative breakthroughs in the energy efficiency category for research aimed at helping California meet its zero net energy (ZNE) building goals, while ensuring adequate indoor air quality and ventilation.
A ZNE, or net zero... Read More
Whether it’s e-cigarettes or emerging heated tobacco products, the market for electronic nicotine delivery systems is booming. Most scientists agree that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco, but how much is known about the “clouds” they create? ETA’s Hugo Destaillats discusses the chemical composition of these complex aerosols in a... Read More
Most Americans don’t realize cooking can be a major source of indoor air pollutants, unless they’ve recently burned something on the stove. But studies have shown that cooking-related contaminants can cause health problems such as respiratory illness and asthma attacks.
To learn more, I spoke with Brett Singer, PhD, a scientist at Berkeley Lab who investigates indoor air quality. Recently, he measured the levels of pollutants emitted from gas... Read More
Ashok Gadgil redesigned a simple technology, the wood-burning stove, to help Sudanese refugee women cook more efficiently, thus sparing them from the dangers of gathering firewood far from camp.
In the developing world, sometimes the simplest technology can have the largest payoff.
That's the lesson learned by Ashok Gadgil, a UC Berkeley professor of civil and environmental engineering and Berkeley Lab researcher who was asked in 2005 to help... Read More
Ashok Gadgil, Senior Faculty Scientist at Berkeley Lab, has been recognized as a Social Design Circle honoree for 2017 by the Curry Stone Design Prize. The prize awards innovative projects that use design to address pressing social justice issues.
Gadgil's research focuses on designing low-cost solutions to the developing world’s most intractable problems. He and his lab teams, composed of scientists and students, work to find resilient,... Read More
Panagopoulos received a $35,000 scholarship from the Sweden-America Foundation to support his work at the Lab and in collaborations with Swedish scientists. The research focuses on human exposure to chemicals from artificial turf in sports arenas. The Foundation supports the exchange of science between Sweden, the U.S. and Canada.
Two projects on residential buildings will help state meet targets for low-energy buildings.
California has established ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings, including a policy goal for all new residential buildings to be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020. Now the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has launched two projects to help the state meet its ZNE building goals.
One project will... Read More
Two projects on residential buildings will help state meet targets for low-energy buildings.
California has established ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings, including a policy goal for all new residential buildings to be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020. Now the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has launched two projects to help the state meet its ZNE building goals.
One project will... Read More
The sticky residue left behind by tobacco smoke can do worse damage than stinking up furniture and discoloring walls. Exposure to thirdhand smoke leads to biological effects on weight and cell development that could be damaging to one's health, according to new research led by scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The researchers found that newborn mice housed with smoke-treated cloths for... Read More
Emissions of methane—a potent climate-warming gas⎯may be roughly twice as high as officially estimated for the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the emissions come from biological sources, such as landfills, but natural gas leakage is also an important source, according to a new study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The report by EAEI researchers Seongeun Jeong and Marc Fischer is the first to... Read More
Many residential and commercial buildings leak air like sieves, wasting up to 40% of their heating and cooling energy. The primary reason for this energy loss is gaps and holes that exist in buildings’ air ducts. Getting an airtight seal on every connection can be difficult; even with skillful installation and generous applications of mastic (the putty... Read More
EAEI researchers Hugo Destaillats and Tom Kirchstetter are part of a team that won a 2016 R&D100 Award for their work on the Cool Roof Time Machine project.
This research establishes a method to simulate soiling and weathering of roofing material, reproducing in the lab in only a few days what would naturally take three years. This “cool roof... Read More
Berkeley Lab study identifies two additional carcinogens not previously reported in e-cigarette vapor.
While previous studies have found that electronic cigarettes emit toxic compounds, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has pinpointed the source of these emissions and shown how factors such as the temperature, type, and age of the device play a role in emission levels, information that could be valuable to... Read More
The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have just released a report on the health... Read More
In the mid-2000s, William Fisk, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, stumbled upon two obscure Hungarian studies that challenged common assumptions about the air indoors. The studies suggested that, even at relatively low levels, carbon dioxide could impair how well people thought and worked.
Fisk, an indoor–air quality expert who led the UC Berkeley Lab’s Indoor Environment Group, searched for other studies on the topic... Read More
Berkeley Lab scientists have been awarded $1.3 million to study health impacts of thirdhand smoke.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have been awarded $1.3 million for two sets of studies to better understand the health impacts of thirdhand smoke, the noxious residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out.
The two three-year grants are from the... Read More
Standards body approves Berkeley Lab’s method to mimic natural soiling of roofing materials.
Cool roofs can help keep buildings cool, thus lowering the building’s energy use, while also mitigating the urban heat island effect by reflecting sunlight away from buildings and cities. But as cool roofs age and get soiled, how much of their reflectance do they lose?
A collaboration led by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley... Read More
Energy Technologies Area researcher Vi Rapp spoke at Build It Green’s 2014 Healthy Homes Conference in Berkeley, California on reducing carbon monoxide exposure risks. Tom White, Home Energy publisher, spoke with her to clear up misconceptions about combustion safety.
See the link below to read the full story in Home Energy.
Career Spotlight: Research Scientist and Mechanical Engineer
Vi Rapp is a research scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area. She has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and focuses her research on improving combustion systems. One aspect of her work is designing cleaner, more efficient cookstoves.
Click the link below to see the full story on KQED's Quest program.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group III, addressing the mitigation of climate change, has issued an executive summary of its Fifth Assessment report. The report updates policymakers on the technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change, including technologies and policies that can reduce impacts.
According to its website, "The IPCC Working Group III assesses all relevant options for mitigating climate change... Read More
Quantifying the Economic Implications of Indoor Air on Energy Efficiency, Performance, and Health
William Fisk is a senior scientist, mechanical engineer, and leader of the Indoor Environment Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). During his 33 years at the lab, he has researched the interrelated issues of building energy performance, ventilation, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), and occupant health and performance. His... Read More
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and their colleagues studied the chemical mechanisms that allow photocatalysis to remove pollution from indoor air and urban atmospheres, as well as allow self-cleaning surfaces to work. The basis of the process is a catalyst such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) energized by light. Building materials and coatings with nano-sized TiO2 particles are gaining... Read More