Indoor Environment

Performance of Tubular Daylighting Devices

Tubular daylighting devices (TDDs) can economically admit natural light into areas of buildings that do not have windows or skylights. This Update outlines the features and characteristics of TDDs and presents research findings that will improve the ability of manufacturers to design and rate their products. It will also help specifiers select best-performing products for particular locations and installation geometries. Full story

Demand-Responsive Commercial Buildings

To reduce the electrical generation required to meet peak demands and maintain grid stability, utilities are implementing policies and mechanisms to lower usage during peak periods. This Update discusses one strategy known as demand response, whereby customers get direct requests from the utility to temporarily lower usage during periods of very high demand. Full story

Performance of Solar Shading Devices

This Update describes results of research on several types of window shading devices and their potential to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption and improve conditions that affect occupant comfort. The information provides guidance in the selection of shading devices for particular housing types and energy cost situations. Full story

Airborne Sound Insulation in Multi-Family Buildings

This Update explains how an emphasis on system performance can achieve good sound insulation in multi-family buildings in a cost-effective manner. It reviews the concepts and terminology used to describe sound insulation for the complete building system, and presents research results that illustrate how typical wood-frame construction details can determine the sound insulation actually achieved. Full story

Workstation Design for the Open-Plan Office

Well-designed workstations in an open-plan office will assure a comfortable, satisfying working environment for occupants. This Update reviews some of the key design issues and provides guidance for achieving a successful outcome, based on research conducted at NRC’s Institute for Research in Construction and elsewhere. Full story