Cool Building Solutions for a Warming World

In 2018 countries across the globe experienced severe summer heat waves. Unfortunately, if carbon emissions continue on their current trajectory, this trend will continue as three-quarters of humanity are projected to face deadly heat by the end of this century. To advance the adoption of passive and low-energy cooling measures, the Heat Island Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) convened the Cool Building Solutions for a Warming World (CBS) Collaborative.

The group’s mission is to identify, assess, develop, and share passive and low-energy building energy efficiency measures that help individuals and cities adapt to extreme heat.

Our collective goals are to 

  • Lower air and radiant temperatures in unconditioned or incompletely conditioned buildings, improving human health and comfort
  • Decrease peak power demand from fully conditioned buildings, reducing grid strain and the likelihood of power failures on extremely hot days
  • Locally improve outdoor comfort—e.g., by shading or otherwise cooling pedestrians

Therefore, we are focused on 

  • Human-scale effects (health, comfort, productivity)
  • Passive building cooling measures, including vegetative and water-based solutions
  • Low-energy building cooling measures
  • Building-scale solutions that link indoor and outdoor spaces

Berkeley Lab created the multi-disciplinary group in autumn 2018. The Collaborative currently has more than 110 research and practitioner members from 15 countries. Its diversity in disciplines, professions, regions, and sectors is key to advance its ambitious goals.

The Collaborative will include structured activities in which subgroups develop a collaborative statement of work, such as a research plan, a communication/outreach plan, or application/design guidelines, to address a specific topic. The Collaborative will exchange information via web meetings and an online collaboration tool. The online tool will also be a repository of key Collaborative information, such as member profiles and resources.

Cool Building Solutions workshop

Berkeley Lab hosted the Collaborative’s first workshop in Berkeley, California on 22 - 23 July 2019. Over the course of the two-day workshop, members shared their research and implementation activities; finalized the Collaborative’s mission, goals, and scope; identified its activities and structure; and discussed barriers and opportunities for advancing its goals. A summary of the workshop outcomes, presentations, and other workshop information can be found at this link.

Join us! Sign up for the Collaborative here.