Partnership with Tsinghua University to advance sustainable design in the built environment through collaborative research and knowledge exchange

Committed to playing a key role in advancing a carbon-neutral, healthy built environment, the University of Washington’s Center for Integrated Design (UW CID) has partnered with Beijing-based Tsinghua University’s Building Energy Research Center (THU BERC) to co-research building energy use and specific factors influencing consumption. Our collaborative research aims to provide an evidence-base for decision-makers and building professionals on what impacts a building’s energy use and how, in order to identify and implement targeted design and construction methods and technologies.

Located in ultra-low energy commercial buildings in Seattle and Beijing, UW CID and THU BERC are well positioned to examine datasets (including energy use, occupant behavior and climate data) from high-performance building sites, and analyze factors impacting energy use, which range from tenant behavior to weather patterns. In particular, our research will focus on how human behavior impacts energy use (e.g. stairs/elevator use, plug-in appliance use) and what influences decision-making (e.g. visual cues, social norms, outdoor/indoor temperatures).