GREEN AND RESILIENT STRATEGIES FOR SHELTER-SAFE BUILDINGS

Some types of natural and human-caused hazards require emergency shelters provided by local governments. Current public shelter characteristics, as found in federal, state, local websites and documents, need updates to increase the resiliency of communities during hazards. In our work, we argue that resiliency can be increased by incorporating green building strategies into different types of shelter-safe buildings. In addition, we place emphasis on the concept of vulnerability and we find that to minimize risks and losses during hazards, the locations and configurations of public shelter-safe buildings should be optimized to serve the most vulnerable population groups. We lastly offer a list of suggested simple updates that can benefit communities and minimize risks during disasters.

This research was funded by NJ Department of Community Affairs.

SYNTHETIC DATA FOR OB MODELING DURING BUILDING DESIGN

Common practice in building modeling often ignores the effect of occupant behaviors and actions on energy, air quality and other performance aspects, although widely shown in research. This may relate to limited data availability, which can be overcome by generating synthetic groups of occupants that can be used by building modelers.

This research was funded by the CBEI sponsored by the U.S.DOE under Award Number DE-EE0004261.

A LIVING LABORATORY TO TEST HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS

“Living laboratories” test real-time, human-environment interactions and provide continuous feedback to researchers interested in creating more sustainable and productive workplaces. Here, we  answer to what extent different types of workplace designs satisfy diverse occupant preferences and needs, how do users react to unsuccessful workplace designs, and what designs/policies promote innovation. Our analysis identifies behavioral-environmental patterns to assist in workplace designs/policies. The physical settings include both interior and exterior spaces.

COASTAL RESILIENCY

Climate change is raising sea levels, thereby increasing the chances for flooding hazards. Real estate markets in coastal areas are driven by great uncertainty in terms of property acquisition, use and rehabilitation. This work characterizes in detail private and public decision making about real property in coastal communities, brings new awareness of flood risks to stakeholders involved and considers green and resilient strategies.

This research was funded by NJ Sea Grant project 6410-0012.

URBAN WATER SYSTEMS

How can urban areas function effectively without sound water supply, sewer and stormwater systems? This work reviews urban water infrastructure in NJ municipalities that have “old”/combined sewer systems and discharge through Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in part or all of their area. It further examines issues regarding water supply capacity and wastewater capacity for these municipalities.​

This research was funded by NJ Future.