Matching Items (76)

Building Thermal Performance Varies During Extreme Heat within Cities

Description

This document has been superseded by our peer-reviewed publication:
Building Thermal Performance, Climate Change, and Urban Heat Vulnerability, Matthew Nahlik, Mikhail Chester, Stephanie Pincetl, David Eisenman, Deepak Sivaraman, and Paul

This document has been superseded by our peer-reviewed publication:
Building Thermal Performance, Climate Change, and Urban Heat Vulnerability, Matthew Nahlik, Mikhail Chester, Stephanie Pincetl, David Eisenman, Deepak Sivaraman, and Paul English, 2017, ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 23(3), doi:10.1061/(ASCE)IS.1943-555X.0000349

The publication is available here

The leading source of weather-related deaths in the United States is heat, and future projections show that the frequency, duration, and intensity of heat events will increase in the Southwest. Presently, there is a dearth of knowledge about how infrastructure may perform during heat waves or could contribute to social vulnerability. To understand how buildings perform in heat and potentially stress people, indoor air temperature changes when air conditioning is inaccessible are modeled for building archetypes in Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona, when air conditioning is inaccessible is estimated.

An energy simulation model is used to estimate how quickly indoor air temperature changes when building archetypes are exposed to extreme heat. Building age and geometry (which together determine the building envelope material composition) are found to be the strongest indicators of thermal envelope performance. Older neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Phoenix (often more centrally located in the metropolitan areas) are found to contain the buildings whose interiors warm the fastest, raising particular concern because these regions are also forecast to experience temperature increases. To combat infrastructure vulnerability and provide heat refuge for residents, incentives should be adopted to strategically retrofit buildings where both socially vulnerable populations reside and increasing temperatures are forecast.

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Small Buildings, Big Impacts: Developing a Library of Small Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Case Studies

Description

Small commercial buildings, or those comprising less than 50,000 square feet of floor area, make up 90% of the total number of buildings in the United States. Though these buildings

Small commercial buildings, or those comprising less than 50,000 square feet of floor area, make up 90% of the total number of buildings in the United States. Though these buildings currently account for less than 50% of total energy consumption in the U.S., this statistic is expected to change as larger commercial buildings become more efficient and thus account for a smaller percentage of commercial building energy consumption. This paper describes the efforts of a multi-organization collaboration and their demonstration partners in developing a library of case studies that promote and facilitate energy efficiency in the small commercial buildings market as well as a case study template that standardized the library. Case studies address five identified barriers to energy efficiency in the small commercial market, specifically lack of: 1) access to centralized, comprehensive, and consistent information about how to achieve energy targets, 2) reasonably achievable energy targets, 3) access to tools that measure buildings’ progress toward targets, 4) financial incentives that make the reduction effort attractive, and 5) effective models of how disparate stakeholders can collaborate in commercial centers to reach targets. The case study library can be organized by location, ownership type, decision criteria, building type, project size, energy savings, end uses impacted, and retrofit measures. This paper discusses the process of developing the library and case study template. Finally, the paper presents next steps in demonstrating the efficacy of the library and explores energy savings potential from broad implementation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-09-14

No Right Answer: A Feasibility Study of Essay Assessment with LDA

Description

Essay scoring is a difficult and contentious business. The problem is exacerbated when there are no “right” answers for the essay prompts. This research developed a simple toolset for essay

Essay scoring is a difficult and contentious business. The problem is exacerbated when there are no “right” answers for the essay prompts. This research developed a simple toolset for essay analysis by integrating a freely available Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) implementation into a homegrown assessment assistant. The complexity of the essay assessment problem is demonstrated and illustrated with a representative collection of open-ended essays. This research also explores the use of “expert vectors” or “keyword essays” for maximizing the utility of LDA with small corpora. While, by itself, LDA appears insufficient for adequately scoring essays, it is quite capable of classifying responses to open-ended essay prompts and providing insight into the responses. This research also reports some trends that might be useful in scoring essays once more data is available. Some observations are made about these insights and a discussion of the use of LDA in qualitative assessment results in proposals that may assist other researchers in developing more complete essay assessment software.

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My Kingdom for a Toolsmith! The IRIDIUM System Specification Through the Lens of Actor-Network Theory

Description

Most would agree that telecommunications systems are socially constructed. Since communication tends to involve people, it seems obvious that people should impact the creation of such systems. But it is far

Most would agree that telecommunications systems are socially constructed. Since communication tends to involve people, it seems obvious that people should impact the creation of such systems. But it is far less obvious that the specifications for such systems should be noted for their social construction. As marvelous and technical as the system is, we must not forget the important technological artifact known as the specification that came before it. This paper tells the story of the social construction of the IRIDIUM system specification as viewed through the eyes of a popular socio-technical systems (STS) analysis tool. Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is employed to elucidate the culture of the Motorola requirements engineering process while describing some of the primary actors and their lively interactions as they strove diligently to produce the “perfect” specification. Throughout, it will become obvious that just as the kingdom was lost “for want of a nail,” so the IRIDIUM system specification was nearly lost for want of a toolsmith.

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Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Nano-Metal Embedded Water Treatment Resins

Description

In an effort to provide drinking water treatment options that are simple to operate, two hybrid resins have been developed that can treat multiple pollutants in a single step. A

In an effort to provide drinking water treatment options that are simple to operate, two hybrid resins have been developed that can treat multiple pollutants in a single step. A parent weak base anion exchange resin is embedded with nanoparticles made of either iron hydroxide or titanium dioxide (Fe-WBAX and Ti-WBAX, respectively). These provide targeted treatment for both arsenic and hexavalent chromium, common groundwater pollutants of recent regulatory significance. The project goal is to evaluate the environmentally preferable choice between Fe-WBAX and Ti-WBAX resin for simultaneous treatment of arsenic and hexavalent chromium in drinking water. The secondary goal is to identify where in the product life cycle is the most opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of the use of either product.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-13

Consumer Product Life Cycle Assessment Aveeno® Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Description

This paper researches an attributional life-cycle assessment (ALCA) of a commonly used consumer product, specifically one bottle of 8-ounce Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. This LCA analyzed the impacts associated from

This paper researches an attributional life-cycle assessment (ALCA) of a commonly used consumer product, specifically one bottle of 8-ounce Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. This LCA analyzed the impacts associated from cradle-to-grave processes of one bottle of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion, including raw material extraction, raw material processing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use and end-of-life of both the lotion itself as well as the bottle.

To successfully propose end-of-life management techniques, three different disposal options were analyzed: landfill disposal, incineration and recycling. All processes included in the system boundary were compared across three main midpoint impact categories: Fossil depletion, Freshwater depletion and Global Warming Potential. Results showed that transportation of the product outweighed all other processes in regard to the three impact categories. When all processes but transportation were considered, results showed that raw material extraction and processing was the significant contributor to the three impact categories.

This LCA therefore proposes that Aveeno take advantage of local products to limit the need for excessive transportation. Furthermore, sustainable forms of transportation could be used to offset the product’s overall environmental impacts. In regard to end-of-life disposal options, Aveeno could market recycling techniques to push forth the reuse of their plastic bottle. Considering costs, glass bottle use could also be considered to possibly implement a send-back and reuse option for consumers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-13

California High Speed Resilience to Climate Change

Description

This LCA used data from a previous LCA done by Chester and Horvath (2012) on the proposed California High Speed Rail, and furthered the LCA to look into potential changes

This LCA used data from a previous LCA done by Chester and Horvath (2012) on the proposed California High Speed Rail, and furthered the LCA to look into potential changes that can be made to the proposed CAHSR to be more resilient to climate change. This LCA focused on the energy, cost, and GHG emissions associated with raising the track, adding fly ash to the concrete mixture in place of a percentage of cement, and running the HSR on solar electricity rather than the current electricity mix. Data was collected from a variety of sources including other LCAs, research studies, feasibility studies, and project information from companies, agencies, and researchers in order to determine what the cost, energy requirements, and associated GHG emissions would be for each of these changes. This data was then used to calculate results of cost, energy, and GHG emissions for the three different changes. The results show that the greatest source of cost is the raised track (Design/Construction Phase), and the greatest source of GHG emissions is the concrete (also Design/Construction Phase).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-13

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Lamps Used in a Classroom at Arizona State University

Description

The ultimate goal of this LCA is to give Arizona State University specific advice on possible changes in lighting systems that will reduce environmental impacts and support ASU’s sustainability efforts.

The ultimate goal of this LCA is to give Arizona State University specific advice on possible changes in lighting systems that will reduce environmental impacts and support ASU’s sustainability efforts. The aim is to assess the potential for a decrease in specific environmental impacts (CO2 emissions and energy use) and economic impact (cost) from changing to a different type of lighting in a prototypical classroom in Wrigley Hall. The scope of this assessment is to analyze the impacts of T8 lamps lasting 50,000 hours. Thus, a functional unit was defined as 50,000 hours of use, maintaining roughly 825 lumens. To put this in perspective, 50,000 hours is equivalent to 8 hours of use per day, 365 days per year, for approximately 17.1 years.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-13

Earth Systems Engineering and Management as Governance

Description

Earth Systems Engineering and Management (ESEM) is a framework for both discussing and addressing the adaptive management of complex socio-ecological systems (SES). Governance of emerging technologies is an SES challenge

Earth Systems Engineering and Management (ESEM) is a framework for both discussing and addressing the adaptive management of complex socio-ecological systems (SES). Governance of emerging technologies is an SES challenge that demonstrates all the classic symptoms of a wicked problem. This paper surveys governance literature in light of the ESEM principles and explores the potential for using the principles of ESEM as a mechanism for governance, addressing particularly ESEM’s overlap with the recently promulgated anticipatory governance as defined by its three pillars of foresight, engagement, and integration. This paper demonstrates that the intersection of these concepts is significant and concludes that ESEM is a worthy framework for governance.

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Worrying About Our (Neuro) Image: How Much Does fMRI Really Reveal About Us?

Description

After a brief introduction to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), this paper presents some common misunderstandings and problems that are frequently overlooked in the application of the technology. Then, in

After a brief introduction to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), this paper presents some common misunderstandings and problems that are frequently overlooked in the application of the technology. Then, in three progressively more involved examples, the paper demonstrates (a) how use of fMRI in pre-surgical mapping shows promise, (b) how its use in lie detection seems questionable, and (c) how employing it in defining personhood is useless and pointless. Finally, in making a case for emergentism, the paper concludes that fMRI cannot really tell us as much about ourselves as we had hoped. Since we are more than our brains, even if fMRI were perfect, it is not enough.

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