The Climate Chamber
Where others see a walk-in pickle refrigerator, we see an opportunity to create a unique experimental tool- our Climate Chamber. In 2010, Energy Studies and Buildings Laboratory‘s Jason Stenson discovered the old freezer in a barn, and after four years of ideas, renovation, and maneuvering, it debuted for research in the University of Oregon’s White Stag building in Portland- home to ESBL Portland.
This 10′ x 12′ x 10′ structure has been outfitted with a variety of technology, and is highly customizable- allowing us to test human comfort and perception in a living model. Not only are the interior panels removable, allowing us to customize the interior materials and design, but the temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, air turnover and velocity, ventilation source, amount of illumination, and lighting source are all manipulable. This flexibility allows us to test a range of hypothesis, ranging from whether certain building materials “feel” warmer to people when the temperature is controlled for, to whether those building materials or the humans perceiving them are affecting the indoor microbiome.