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Research Highlights

Carla Peterman Appointed to California Energy Commission by Governor Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Carla Peterman to the California Energy Commission.

Carla Peterman

Peterman is a doctoral candidate in the Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, and a graduate student researcher with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her primary research interests are renewable energy, technology innovation, and climate change mitigation policy. Her dissertation examines the effect of market transformation activities, such as subsidies, on the U.S. solar photovoltaic market. At Berkeley Lab, Peterman researches solar photovoltaic markets and the impact of renewable subsidy programs on PV deployment and cost.

Her Berkeley Lab research publications are available by searching the publications page of the website of the Electricity Markets and Policy Group of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

Peterman holds an Msc. in Environmental Change and Management and an M.B.A. from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She also has a B.A. in History from Howard University.

For more information, see:

EETD Scientists Recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Charles Goldman

Charles Goldman, a scientist in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, has been given a special award by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in recognition of the "Electricity Markets and Policy Group's critical achievements and leadership in the energy efficiency field." Goldman is the leader of this research group.

The award was presented at a reception during the ACEEE's "Energy Efficiency–Advancing Our Economy, Environment, and Security" conference in Washington D.C., which celebrated the organization's 30 years of work in energy efficiency. DOE's Cathy Zoi, Acting Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, was the featured speaker at the reception.

Arthur Rosenfeld

Art Rosenfeld, who has returned to the Environmental Energy Technologies Division with the title Distinguished Scientist Emeritus, was also recognized as a visionary in energy efficiency. The ACEEE said of Art and Amory Lovins:

"Arthur H. Rosenfeld and Amory Lovins have been visionaries in the field of energy efficiency. What we know as energy efficiency today is in significant part because of their imagination, dedication, and hard work. Art Rosenfeld, one of ACEEE's founders, recently retired as head of the California Energy Commission. Amory Lovins is Chairman and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute."

Ashok Gadgil's Students Help Design Sustainable House

Front porch of the sustainable house in Berkeley, CA.

Students from "Design for Sustainable Communities," a class taught by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Ashok Gadgil at the University of California, Berkeley, developed the business model for a an innovative cottage now on the market. The economical 420-square-foot cottage uses sustainable materials and features a concrete slab foundation to absorb solar heat that warms the house at night.

Interior of the house: a small kitchen located under a loft accessed by a ladder.

The house was designed by Kevin Casey, an MBA graduate from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, along with students from City and Regional Planning, Civil Engineering, the Haas School of Business, and Gadgil's class. Casey is now the CEO of New Avenue Homes, which helps interested home buyers finance and build the structures. They range from $60,000 to $125,000, and are designed for infill development and for those looking for a very low-cost residence.

For more information, see:

Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Healthier Interiors

Many U.S. residents living in multifamily buildings may be exposed to high levels of potentially harmful indoor contaminants, and often their ability to remedy that problem is limited because they do not own the property or have the money fix the problems.

Screenshot of the Apartment Retrofits for Energy and Indoor Environmental Quality website

The United States is looking for ways to improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ) as part of its aggressive energy retrofits in subsidized multifamily housing. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers Federico Noris, William Fisk, Brett Singer, and Iain Walker are teaming with a variety of consultants to develop protocols that identify packages of beneficial retrofits capable of reducing energy use and improving IEQ. The team will conduct energy and IEQ retrofits in 15 apartments (in three different buildings) for different California climates. Energy use and IEQ conditions will be monitored before and after the retrofit implementation. Those data will be compared to data from unretrofitted apartments and analyzed to determine the retrofit's effects on energy use and IEQ. The research program will cover the cost of retrofitting the apartments.

The three-year project, which began in May 2010, is currently recruiting buildings and apartments for the retrofits. To meet the needs of the project, buildings must be low-rise, subsidized housing more than 20 years old, be metered at the individual apartments, and have at least 15 apartments. Further criteria are listed at the project website.

Apartment Retrofits for Energy and Indoor Environmental Quality

This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program.

For more information, contact:

  • Federico Noris
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, LBNL
  • (510) 289-4324

The Healthy Zero Energy Buildings Website

Healthy Zero Energy Buildings website

The Healthy Zero Energy Buildings (HZEB) website has made its debut.

The HZEB research program's goal is to develop the information needed for scientifically-sound commercial building ventilation standards that balance energy efficiency objectives with the need to maintain acceptable indoor air quality.

Zero (net) energy buildings have a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year. The California Public Utility Commission and the California Energy Commission have adopted the goal of all new commercial buildings constructed to zero net energy levels by 2030.

HZEB research is funded by the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. Stakeholders who will help guide the research include California Energy Commission, California Department of Health Services, California Air Resources Board, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the private sector HVAC and building industries.

Healthy Zero-Energy Buildings

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