In 2009, UW President Mark A. Emmert stated his intent to establish a climate-neutral campus [Climate Action Plan (2009)]. As part of a plan to accomplish this goal, over 216 smart meters have been placed on buildings at the Seattle campus to monitor energy consumption through the related Pacific Northwest Smart Grid demonstration project. Although reductions in power consumption in University buildings are an established performance target, and measurements of usage are available to administrators and researchers, the related indoor environmental quality for these buildings is not presently evaluated.
Our primary objective is to investigate the indoor environmental quality of the LEED-certified Gold Husky Union Building on the Seattle campus through measurements of temperature, air speed, acoustics, lighting, and water consumption, and through an analysis of surveys of building occupants regarding indoor comfort. We seek to answer the questions:
1. Does the LEED-certified Gold Building perform according to established protocols by such agencies as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)?
2. If not, what deficiencies exist? What strategies can be implemented to alleviate any problems?
3. How can we correlate measured indoor quality values to occupant satisfaction levels?
4. How can we monitor the performance of all buildings on campus in a non-invasive manner?
Specifically, we propose to measure environmental quality metrics through instruments inside the HUB as previously undertaken by Kim (2012) in a different setting. Engineering Technician Yiming Liu of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will work with a graduate research assistant to order, calibrate, and test the necessary equipment for these measurements. The equipment will be mounted onto a moveable cart so that the research assistant will be able to take the cart to specific locations in the HUB to collect data on a regular schedule. The investigators (Profs. Reed and Kim) will provide guidance to the research assistant in the data collection and analysis. Our team, which has permission from HUB Associate Director Paul Zuchowski, will also undertake standard surveys for individuals who have offices in the building. The results will be compared with established protocols.
The primary outcome will be a process for the evaluation of the indoor environment quality of any University building. We anticipate that this investigation will lead to the writing of a research proposal to national funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Energy (USDOE) or the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).