Building Efficiency and Sustainability in the Tropics

Singapore hawker center
Stefano Schiavon

The Singapore Berkeley Building Efficiency and Sustainability in the Tropics (SinBerBEST, 2012-2022) project involves a multi-disciplinary group of 8-10 faculty at the University of California Berkeley with the objective to radically reduce energy use in tropical commercial buildings. This inter-disciplinary research program proposes a fundamental shift from the current paradigm to one that emphasizes the cooperative integration between the Grid, the Building, and its Occupants all working together as an Ecosystem. Most of the world’s population growth is occurring in tropical areas, but just how to provide comfortable, energy-efficient indoor conditions in warm and humid climates is understudied. Part of the project is aimed at assessing the consequences, on thermal comfort, wellbeing and energy use, of using increased air movement generated by fans, a cost effective low tech alternative to air conditioning.