Buildings Research Briefs

Browse all of our buildings related research briefs below, or explore by topic via the links in the right side bar (on desktop browsers) or at the bottom of this page (on mobile browsers).

A model of mass points and connections used to generate fragility curves.
Research Brief: Generating Component-level Building-specific Fragility Curves
November 20, 2020

Fragility curves allow engineers to capture a building’s risk of damage at different loads. This...

Research Brief: Mitigation Solutions for GHG Emissions in New Construction
August 10, 2020

Between 2016 and 2050, the U.S. will experience unprecedented construction—enough to build New York City twenty times over. Yet, to meet emissions goals the building sector must also radically...

Research Brief: Molecular Dynamics-based Resilience Assessment of Structures
July 10, 2020

To streamline the fire resilience assessments of structures, CSHub research assistant Kostas Keremidis has developed a model inspired by the molecular complexity of materials....

Passive houses and zero-energy buildings may be cheaper to build.
Research Brief: Affordability of Passive Houses and Zero-Energy Buildings
May 19, 2020

Developed in the 1970s, the passive house standard dramatically reduces a building’s energy consumption through elements like improved insulation, layout, and design. Zero-energy buildings, on the...

Urban Canyon Credit: Minesweeper / Creative Commons
Topic Summary: City Texture and Urban Resilience
March 12, 2020

To protect buildings and their occupants from hazards like hurricanes, governments implement building codes—or minimum construction standards. Current building codes, however, don’t adequately...

Building Life Cycle Assessment
Research Brief: Optimizing Building Life Cycle Environmental Impact and Cost
February 24, 2020

To build sustainably, designers must calculate the lifetime environmental impacts of their structures—a process known as life cycle assessment (LCA). However, current LCA tools...

Research Brief: Community-Informed Building-Scale Resilience Assessment
February 3, 2020

Though hazard mitigation practices reduce hazard damage, they remain under-implemented. This is, in part, because current tools underestimate hazard damages, and therefore, the...

Research Brief: Meeting Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets in the Buildings Sector
July 4, 2019

The buildings sector is one of the highest emitting sectors of the global economy, consuming 40% of global energy demand. To lower the sector's emissions, CSHub researchers have sought to reduce...

Topic Summary: Urban Heat Islands
June 3, 2019

The urban heat island (UHI) effect is the phenomenon by which cities experience higher temperatures than their less urban surroundings. It poses a public health risk by increasing the frequency of...

Research Brief: Generating Building-specific Fragility Curves
May 17, 2019

Fragility curves are a statistical tool that represents a building’s likelihood of damage under a range of load levels—like those from natural hazards. Traditionally, they have been generated...