2014 New Researcher Award Recipient

Joon-Ho Choi

Choi, Joon-Ho. is an Assistant Professor of Building Science, in the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. Prior to taking the position, he worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Choi’s primary research interests are in the areas of advanced controls for high performance buildings, bio-sensing controls in the built environment, smart building enclosure, passive building strategies, and human-centered building environmental control. As an interdisciplinary researcher, he has participated in multiple research projects sponsored by governmental agencies, industry partners and research grant programs including General Services Administration (GSA), Boston Society of Architects/AIA, Green Building Alliance (GBA), ALCOA, SIEMENS, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and UNEP. His research outcomes have been published on prestigious international journals including “Building and Environment”, and “Energy and Buildings”. He is currently a technical committee member of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and is an active member of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality (ISIAQ), and Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA).

One of Dr. Choi’s recent researches, entitled “Human-Building Integration for Assessment of Indoor Environmental Quality for Human Health and Environmental Sustainability: Pupil-Size Based Visual Environment Control in the Workplace” has technically innovative features as an emerging research topic in the domain of Building Science in Architecture. The goal of this research is to determine a diagnostic method for detecting improper ambient lighting conditions, a major contributing factor to visual stress and associated health problems in office workplace environments, and to establish a diagnostic lighting design tool in architecture.

This experimental study provides unique knowledge concerning how an individual’s physiological signals can be translated to estimate his/her visual sensation and comfort level, as a function of pupil sizes, their fluctuations, and time frequencies. The result defines a new quantitative measure of the occupant’s visual satisfaction, and determines optimal lighting levels. Since the model has a quantitative feature as a stochastic model, it is compatible with any type of data acquisition system (e.g., Google glasses, and smartphone app.). This technical flexibility will facilitate its application to real building environments for enhancing occupants’ visual comfort and environmental sustainability by optimizing lighting energy use intensity via preventing overshooting problems and by diagnosing the visual (lighting) performance of design, such as daylighting and electrical lighting design, façade design, workstation layout design, etc. Therefore, the research outcome will be potentially applicable as a control and diagnostic tool for designing a workplace environment, where the occupants’ environmental health, work productivity, and energy performance are critical.

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