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Research Highlights

An Overview of Proposed ASHRAE Standards

Max Sherman, group leader of EETD's Energy Performance of Buildings Group has written two articles describing the draft ASHRAE Standard 62.2P in the May 1999 editions of the ASHRAE Journal and Contracting Business (Sherman, M.H. "Standard 62 Goes Residential," Contracting Business, May 1999. 56: 5, pp 56-59; Sherman, M.H. "Indoor Air Quality for Residential Buildings," ASHRAE Journal, May 1999.) Sherman is the chairman of the ASHRAE Standard Project Committee 62.2P. This standard, "Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings," is now ready for public review. It defines the minimum requirements for mechanical and natural ventilation systems and the building envelope in single-family and low-rise multifamily structures. The intent of the standard is to address public interest in residential indoor air quality and ventilation; that interest has grown with the increase in energy-efficient houses and healthier building materials.

Public review will begin this summer. For more information, contact Max Sherman, (510) 486-4022, or visit the ASHRAE web site.

XRF Helps Archaeologists Determine the Origin of Ancient Pottery

EETD's Frank Asaro and Robert D. Giauque worked with D. Adan-Bayewitz of Israel's Bar-Ilan University to demonstrate the effectiveness of a new methodology of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for determining the origin of ancient pottery.

Determining the origin ("provenance") of ancient pottery can help archaeologists better understand the relationships and influences between peoples. Correlating pottery fragments found in excavations with the ancient workshops in which they were made helps illuminate the trade and cultural contacts among ancient settlements.

By measuring the abundances of trace and major elements in a pottery fragment and comparing them with the same parameters in the soil and artifacts at known pottery workshops, researchers can often determine provenance. Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) has been the method of choice for measuring elemental abundances because of its great precision and reliability, but it has some disadvantages. One is that INAA requires a nuclear reactor, and XRF does not. Another involves complicated sample preparation and analytical procedures-INAA results can often take several weeks to complete, even for a small number of samples.

Asaro and Giauque demonstrated that XRF can be used to determine pottery provenance with measurement precision comparable to INAA's. XRF does not require a nuclear facility, relying instead on a widely available lab equipment-a conventional silicon X-ray spectrometer with an X-ray tube. A single investigator can often complete XRF results in just a few hours.

The research team analyzed pottery samples from several ancient Palestinian sites in the Galilee and Golan areas of the Middle East using both the standard INAA method and XRF. The ages of the artifacts ranged from the first century B.C. to fourth century A.D. Adan-Bayewitz, Asaro, and Giauque demonstrated that the 10 most precisely measured by XRF were measured as well as the 10 most precisely measured elements by INAA. XRF was also able to distinguish better than INAA between two sets of pottery from nearby sites that were very similar in composition. The team showed that XRF holds promise as a cheaper, faster method than INAA for determining archaeological provenance while being equally effective.

Adan-Bayewitz, D., F. Asaro, and R.D. Giauque. "Determining Pottery Provenance: Application of a New High-Precision X-Ray Fluorescence Method and Comparison with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis," Archaeometry 41 (1999), 1-24.

EETD Research Team Wins Architecture Research Award

Recognizing the research program "Daylighting with Integrated Envelope and Lighting Systems," Architecture magazine bestowed a 1999 Award for Architectural Research on a team of EETD building scientists. The six-year research program demonstrated how to integrate existing and prototype window and lighting technologies into advanced systems that attain greater energy efficiency and occupant comfort than conventional design practice.

The winning team was led by Stephen Selkowitz, head of EETD's Building Technologies Department, and Eleanor Lee, EETD Project Manager. It also included Dennis DiBartolomeo, Francis Rubinstein, Liliana Beltrán, Joseph Klems, Robert Sullivan, Edward Vine, and Robert Clear, all of EETD.

The award, co-sponsored by Architecture magazine and the Initiative for Architectural Research, is one of the profession's highest honors for innovative research. The Initiative is a cooperative effort of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the American Institute of Architects, and the Architectural Research Centers Consortium.

"This is an excellent example of applied research in which the results are greater than the sum of the individual components because of an integration of scientific knowledge-a real model of what architecture can bring to the table," said Richard Eribes, one of three award jurors. Selkowitz accepted the award for the project team at a ceremony in New York City's Paula Cooper Gallery. The Berkeley Lab research is described in the April 1999 issue of the magazine.

"The honor is yet another recognition of Berkeley Lab's outstanding contributions toward improving our nation's efficient use and conservation of energy," said Laboratory Director Charles Shank. "Stephen Selkowitz and his colleagues are to be congratulated for their creative solutions to the challenges of maximizing the use of natural light in building design."

More information about the award can be found online.

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