CAS-Climate: An Integrated Framework to Investigate Thermal Resilience of Sustainable Buildings and Living Environments for Greater Preparedness to Extreme Temperature Events

Project: Research project

Project Details


Compounding the effects of building and built environment characteristics, the social and behavioral characteristics of households and urban-rural inequality can result in differing levels of vulnerability to extreme temperature events. To most fairly and effectively allocate limited resources, decision-makers need a framework for planning and prioritizing preparedness and intervention before extreme temperature events occur, as well as to identify effective response and management strategies during and after such events. In particular, there is a need to estimate and project extreme temperature- induced impacts on an individual resident level, information highly correlated to community, urban, and regional factors. The overarching goal of this interdisciplinary US-China research is to build an urban-rural regional assessment, preparedness, and response system for extreme temperature events for use during the transition to global sustainability. In particular, the project's three specific research goals are to: 1) build a new multi-criteria and multiscale assessment of building and living environments’ resilience to extreme temperature events in the context of the trend of sustainable building development, 2) empower this new multiscale dynamic preparedness system to be deployed during extreme temperature events in urban-rural regions, and 3) develop efficient, effective, and just strategies and management practices for responding to extreme temperature events. Special focus will be on the characteristics of sustainable buildings and the potential impacts on physical, social, and human-related aspects, taking the transition to global sustainability and development into account.This project will bring together US academic expertise in architectural engineering, construction, and sociology and Chinese research strengths in urban planning, information systems, civil engineering, and management to develop a multiscale thermal resilience assessment framework for heat and cold waves that can further be utilized to empower preparedness and ensure appropriate response strategies for extreme temperature events. The thermal resilience assessment framework will integrate both physical and social context variables and cover multiple scales, ranging from individual occupants to households, buildings, communities, and regions. More importantly, by employing simulations and survey-based methods, this research will provide fundamental understandings about how thermal resilience at different scales is affected by specific physical and social contexts during the transition to sustainability. The resultant response and management framework based on these understandings (collaboratively conducted by the US-China research team) will provide a quantitative platform to balance the regional and building’s sustainability transition and resilience to weather-associated disasters along the urban and rural continuum. From the societal impact perspective, the research will support multi-scale vulnerability and resilience assessments for use in preparing for extreme temperature events and decision-making related to preparedness, response, and management. This work will bring sustainability-related target-induced effects into urban-rural regional preparedness for extreme temperature events, achieving a balance between net-zero carbon emissions and resilience. The methodology to be created in this work can be expanded to other weather-related events and disasters, promoting greater preparedness and responses to those events. Also, the project team will engage in the a series of educational and outreach activities, transferring research outcomes to existing courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, broadening participation by under-represented groups by leveraging current university and college programs that focus on minorities and underrepresented students, disseminating research results and findings through seminars, conference presentations, and journal publications. In addition to disseminating the findings through traditional means, all of the project data and educational and outreach activities will be posted on a dedicated project website, as well as through PSU’s online educational resources, which are open to the public.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date9/1/222/28/27


  • National Science Foundation: $500,000.00


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