Ma Wins ‘Building and Environment’ 2021 Best Paper Award

Nancy Ma, director of the HERB-Lab, has won the Building and Environment 2021 Best Paper Award. One of three papers awarded among 4,500 submissions, “Adaptive behavior and different thermal experiences of real people: A Bayesian neural network approach to thermal preference prediction and classification” was co-authored by Liang Chen, Jian Hu, and Professors Paris Perdikaris, Penn SEAS, and William Braham, Penn Architecture, and published in Building and Environment Vol. 198 in July of 2021.

The paper documents an original Bayesian neural network (BNN) algorithm to tackle the problem of high uncertainty in the prediction and classification of building occupants’ thermal preferences. The research of Ma, Chen, and Hu offers insight into quantifying human-building interaction during architectural design as well as making a positive impact on building energy consumption and occupant wellness in the indoor environment.

Building and Environment is an international journal that publishes original research papers and review articles related to building science, urban physics, and human interaction with the indoor and outdoor built environment. The journal established the Best Paper Award in 2007, as a measure to encourage publishing high-quality papers, and recognize authors for their papers’ originality, contributions to the field, quality of presentation, and soundness of science.


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