News

April 4, 2022
Improving a school's energy performance can affect more than utility bills — it can also boost indoor air quality and learning outcomes, making the classrooms healthier for students and staff. A new campaign, Efficient and Healthy Schools, will provide practical guidance on ventilation upgrades that can increase energy efficiency, lower costs, and improve the air at K-12 schools nationwide.... Read more
September 23, 2021
Having good room ventilation to dilute and disperse indoor air pollutants has long been recognized, and with the COVID-19 pandemic its importance has become all the more heightened. But new experiments by indoor air researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) show that certain circumstances will result in poor mixing of room air, meaning airborne contaminants may not be... Read more
September 8, 2021
Improving a school’s energy performance can affect more than utility bills—it can also boost indoor air quality, making the classrooms healthier for students and staff. A new campaign, Efficient and Healthy Schools, aims to provide practical upgrades that can increase energy efficiency, lower costs, and improve the air at K–12 schools nationwide. Participating schools receive information and... Read more
May 27, 2021
As more U.S. states and countries legalize medical and recreational marijuana, consumers are increasingly turning to new types of products that avoid toxic smoke inhalation. Researchers at Berkeley Lab who previously identified potentially harmful emissions from electronic cigarettes are now identifying the potential health risks of vaping cannabis. When a person vapes marijuana, they are inhaling... Read more
January 14, 2021
In 10 years of studying thirdhand smoke, which is the toxic cigarette residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces for months or years, Berkeley Lab scientist Hugo Destaillats said the most frequent question he hears from the public is how to remediate property where a smoker once lived. Remediation companies frequently use ozone generators to eliminate odors from mold, tobacco, and fire... Read more
October 16, 2020
One day in March, the kids were there. The next day, there was no one. Then on a Saturday in August, a man came into an empty public school in suburban Boston carrying a container of dry ice, trying to figure out how to bring the students back to their desks.Since January, that man, Joseph Allen, a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health, has been saying to anyone who will listen that... Read more
September 17, 2020
Air sealing and insulation, which are common elements of energy efficiency upgrade packages, come with a bonus: In addition to saving energy, they almost always cut dampness and mold. This latest research comes from a new publication from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). However, the paper also found that levels of some indoor air pollutants increased... Read more
August 18, 2020
Over the last few years of frequent and intense wildfire seasons, many parts of the U.S. have experienced hazardous air quality for days on end. At the same time a number of low-cost air quality monitors have come on the market, allowing consumers to check the pollutant levels in their own homes and neighborhoods. So, air quality scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)... Read more
August 11, 2020
Heat waves are becoming a more regular occurrence across the country. Iain Walker, Leader of the Residential Building Systems Group at Berkeley Lab, has suggestions for how to weather them. Walker has more than 20 years’ experience as a building scientist and consultant on energy use and ventilation in residential buildings. Q. Is it more efficient or economical to keep my house cool all day or... Read more
June 22, 2020
Kirk R. Smith, a pioneering researcher in the deadly risks of indoor air pollution in the developing world and an early voice raising concern about the health consequences of climate change, died June 15 at the age of 73 at his Berkeley home, following a stroke and subsequent cardiac arrest. Smith was a professor of global environmental health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and... Read more
November 19, 2019
Outstanding work in the field of residential ventilation -- which ultimately resulted in making millions of homes healthier and more comfortable -- has resulted in ETA's Residential Ventilation Team being honored with a Societal Impact Award by Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell. Brett Singer, Iain Walker, Brennan Less and Woody Delp (pictured, left to right), were recognized for their... Read more
October 30, 2019
Cutting-edge technologies from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to detect radiation, make buildings more energy efficient, and accelerate neuroscience research were honored with R&D 100 Awards by R&D World magazine.Also recognized was Spack: A Package Manager for HPC Systems, a project led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and which includes the National Energy... Read more
October 28, 2019
As part of a video series in which scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) share their favorite periodic table elements, Hugo Destaillats offers his tribute to titanium. Destaillats, a chemical staff scientist/engineer in Berkeley Lab's Energy Technologies Area, notes titanium's use in a variety of everyday products, from eyeglasses to paint."In our group, we study the... Read more
October 9, 2019
Six researchers in the Energy Technologies Area have been recognized in the annual Director's Awards, which applauds outstanding scientific contributions at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).Tom McKone received the Berkeley Lab Prize, a lifetime achievement award; Nihar Shah, a research scientist/engineer, received a societal impact award; and the... Read more
September 9, 2019
A class of alternative tobacco product called heat-not-burn is quickly gaining in popularity across the globe. The product manufacturers claim that these battery-operated devices produce a “clean,” nicotine-laden vapor that contains fewer irritant and carcinogenic chemicals than a conventional cigarette – and are therefore a less harmful option for tobacco users. New research from the... Read more
June 26, 2019
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently collaborated on the development of a new kind of roof shingle that will help reduce air pollution.The shingles’ photocatalytic granules, developed by 3M, were evaluated at Berkeley Lab during a three-year testing period to determine effectiveness and performance. The innovative methodology researchers developed during... Read more
November 15, 2018
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... Read more
November 13, 2018
In a recent Facebook post, Energy Secretary Rick Perry lauds the DOE’s national labs and “the incredible work being undertaken by our nation’s brightest minds.” The post includes a video that features his visit to all 17 national labs, including Berkeley Lab.... Read more
October 30, 2018
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 Energy Vanguard's blog. Singer, a staff scientist in Berkeley Lab's Energy... Read more
August 22, 2018
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)... Read more
July 20, 2018
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,... Read more
July 19, 2018
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... Read more
July 19, 2018
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 Energy Storage and Distributed Resources... Read more
May 31, 2018
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... Read more
May 1, 2018
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... Read more