Sustainability Science Program

Xiaoqi Xu

Xiaoqi Xu

Xiaoqi XuDr. Xiaoqi Xu
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 503 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-384-5737
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Sustainability Science

Xiaoqi Xu is a joint Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and the Energy Technology Innovation Policy project, a joint project of the Science Technology and Public Policy Program and the Environment and Natural Resources Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.  Her research explores energy efficiency and sustainability through innovation in the built environment. Xiaoqi is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Sustainable Energy Development in China led by Professor Henry Lee. She received her PhD in Civil Engineering, focusing on building energy efficiency, from Columbia University (2013). Her dissertation enlarges the traditional single-building evaluation perspective to networks of buildings to discover the effects of interrelationships among adjacent buildings and human-environment interactions on building energy performance. She is extending her doctoral work to do a comparative study of the U.S. and China on building energy sustainability and bridges to energy policy design and intervention. Xiaoqi is a recipient of the Columbia University Presidential Fellowship (2010), China National Merit Scholarships (2008, 2009), and an associate of the NSF IGERT Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design program. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Construction Management from Tsinghua University (2010) and a dual Bachelor of Economics from the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University (2010). Her faculty host is Henry Lee.

Innovation for building energy sustainability through human-environment interactions: A comparative study of the U.S. and China
The reduction of energy consumption in the built environment is a key objective in many sustainability goals. Most current approaches focus on energy saving technologies and/or energy conservation by building occupants. They are unquestionably useful; however to respond to critical societal energy challenges, these measures need to be revolutionized. This research enlarges the traditional assessment perspective from a single building to networks of buildings in energy evaluation. The purpose is to discover how an interrelationship could condition buildings’ energy performance when buildings are proximally situated, when neighboring occupants’ behaviors interact, and especially when synergies between human and environmental systems exist. Due to the distinct land use, urban morphology, and related policies in US and China, which will physically and societally modify this interdependence, the comparative study between the two representatives of developed and developing worlds can guide the emerging trend of harnessing human-environment interactions for sustainable energy globally. This research direction is linked to the energy policy domain in the exploration of an optimal alignment of residents’ behaviors with the built environment to create dynamic energy efficiency throughout the operation period. The project will present novel, customized approaches to harness human-environment interactions toward building energy sustainability, and transform the concept of green infrastructure in the built environment for both US and China.

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