USC Faculty & Student win Best Paper Award at PLEA 2016

School News

USC Faculty & Student win Best Paper Award at PLEA 2016

January 10, 2017

Professor Marc Schiler, Professor Karen Kensek, and Jae Yong Suk MBS ’07, Ph.D. ’14 won the Best Paper Award at the 32nd International Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA 2016) Conference, held in Los Angeles, California from July 11-13, 2016. 


The PLEA 2016 conference attracted more than 1100 paper submissions, and less than 300 were selected in a blind peer-review. 


“To be selected as the one best paper from this enormous global participation is indeed a truly great honor and reflects great prestige on the authors, Suk, Schiler and Kensek,” said Professor Douglas Noble, Director of the USC Master of Building Science Program


The research paper, titled “Is Exterior Glare Problematic?: Investigation on Visual Discomfort Caused by Reflected Sunlight on Specular Building Facades” examined exterior glare issues caused by reflected sunlight from highly reflective and specular building envelopes which have been widely adopted to help maximize energy performance of buildings and to achieve occupant thermal and visual comfort inside buildings. 


By utilizing high dynamic range (HDR) photography, the paper documented and analyzed luminance maps of extreme exterior glare cases in downtown Los Angeles. The paper highlights strong correlations between human visual discomfort and excessive sunlight reflections from specular building envelopes by performing an extensive human subject study in an outdoor setting. The paper also suggests a new exterior glare evaluation method to help ensure more visually pleasing and comfortable outdoor environments. ■