Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
Dr. Iain Walker is a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). He has more than 20 years of experience as a building scientist and consultant, conducting research on energy use, ventilation, moisture, performance simulation, and commissioning/diagnostic issues in residential buildings. His current work focuses on retrofits, Zero/Low Energy Homes and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in residential buildings through field and laboratory evaluations, modeling and simulation activities, and standards setting. He is Executive Editor and member of the board of Home Energy magazine. He is the task group leader for the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards committees on building and duct system air leakage and sealant longevity. For the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) he serves on National Standards committees for indoor air quality, weather, moisture design, and equipment air leakage. He also serves on Building Performance Institute (BPI) and Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Technical Committees, the Affordable Comfort (ACI) conference planning committee and provides leadership and technical input to many local, state, national and international bodies.
- Low Energy Homes
A whole-house integrated approach is used for both new construction and improvement of existing homes. It covers all aspects of home energy use including interactions between energy end uses with a focus on what can be achieved using current technology while reducing building loads by at least 70%.
- Residential HVAC Systems
Heating, cooling, ventilation and humidity control are all large energy end uses in homes that can be significantly improved through proper design and installation. LBNL works on demonstrating the energy savings of air sealing ducts and bringing them inside the home and developing techniques to ensure these savings are realized. We also study fan power and filtration issues.
- Indoor Air Quality
A key aspect of an energy efficient home is that it should also be a healthy home. Good IAQ is essential. Work in this area focuses on development of mechanical ventilation systems including control systems and evaluation of current systems. LBNL also contributes to IAQ codes and standards (primarily ASHRAE 62.2).
- Residential Humidity Control
As homes become more efficient their air conditioning systems are unable to control humidity levels and homes require dehumidification systems. We are working on novel approaches to dehumidification to reduce the energy impact of humidity control.
- Building Simulation
Building simulation work focuses on single-family residential buildings with combined ventilation, heat transfer and moisture models. These models utilize short time steps and sophisticated equipment models to evaluate control strategies and transient HVAC performance. Recent work includes comparison of energy performance ventilation systems, development of indoor air quality equivalence principles for ventilation systems and indoor humidity evaluations.
- Building Diagnostics Development
To know how buildings perform we must measure them. In this project we develop building diagnostics that are more accurate and/or faster and easier to perform. The focus is primarily on air flow diagnostics for heating, cooling and ventilation systems including new test methods, e.g., the DeltaQ test for duct and envelop leakage testing. This work supports standards development and training research areas.
- Codes and Standards Development
All our research has an end point that includes creating minimum industry standards as well as best practice guidance. Primary collaborative institutions include: California Energy Commission (CEC), ASHRAE, ASTM and CSA.
- Industry Training and Certification
Taking the results of research and providing this as a technical resource to the buildings industry is accomplished by preparing new and revised standards and presenting training and technical support to certification programs. Primary collaborative institutions include: ACI, RESNET and BPI.