Durham School Distinguished Lecture

“The Future of Cooling”

Dr. Stefano Schiavon
Professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering
UC Berkeley

Friday, February 17, 2023
12:00PM:  Boxed lunches available
12:15PM - 1:15 PM: Presentation
Peter Kiewit Institute Room 160 (Omaha), Nebraska Hall Room 175 (Lincoln), or Zoom

Please use the form below to RSVP for lunch or the Zoom link, preferably by Wednesday, February 15, 2023.


We spend most of our time in built spaces that substantially affect our health, well-being, and productivity. Conditioning the built environment has a large influence on climate change, most of which comes from the energy used to create indoor comfort. The need for cooling has been increasing globally, with most of it happening in tropical countries because of their economic and demographic growth. How can we enhance occupant satisfaction without increasing buildings’ environmental impact even further? Dr. Schiavon will present strategies to reduce the impact of air conditioning and show why electric fans can be both an alternative to and augmentation of air conditioning. In a remarkable number of ways, they have the potential to reduce energy use and increase thermal comfort simultaneously. He will also show that the PMV/PPD thermal comfort model has low prediction accuracy and we do not have enough evidence to justify narrow indoor temperature ranges for thermal comfort or work performance reasons. Dr. Schiavon will end the presentation by making a case for how electric fans in many situations can protect people during heatwaves.

Stefano Schiavon, PhD, is a Professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley and Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Design Research. His research is focused on finding ways to reduce energy consumption in buildings while improving occupant health, well-being and productivity. Dr. Schiavon has researched sustainable architecture, air conditioning and satisfaction. He earned a PhD in Energy Engineering (2008) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2005) with honors from the University of Padova, Italy. 

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