Building Engineering Research Areas and Disciplines
A current hot topic in building engineering is energy conservation. New research concentrates on creating buildings that are airtight and temperature-constant, which reduces the amount of energy needed to keep that building running. Research into current energy consumption levels in buildings is designed to provide baseline data for new technologies that will reduce energy consumption.
Solar energy for buildings is another hot topic, where people are designing buildings with solar panels to provide energy for lighting, temperature control, and hot water. There is also research into creating more efficient solar panels, through the creation new solar materials and energy-capturing abilities.
Indoor air quality is another topic of research. Investigations include improving the airtightness of buildings, humidity control, control of mold growth, removal of odors from commercial kitchen facilities, and removal of particulate matter through the building of more efficient filter systems.
More traditional research in building engineering includes designing more efficient building materials such as reinforced concrete, alloys, and non-metals such as carbon fiber, and how they react under stresses such as winds or seismic activity. This relates to earthquake engineering, and many building engineers work in collaboration with earthquake engineers to design buildings that can withstand certain magnitudes of earthquakes with minimal damage.