Air conditioning today accounts for nearly 20% of the total electricity used in buildings around the world and over 10% of the total primary energy use in the US. Already a major contributor to climate change, cooling energy demand is predicted to significantly increase over the next decades with urbanization, population growth and global warming. Heat stress is a major environmental justice concern, disproportionally impacting disadvantaged communities. We must find sustainable and equitable cooling alternatives to replace current building practices which only exacerbate the environmental crisis.
The webinar will include an overview of research by Penn faculty members on alternative low-energy cooling strategies and innovative building materials inspired by nature. This will be followed by case-studies of built projects presented by industry leaders in the field.