Professor Leslie Norford is the George Macomber (1948) Professor in Construction Management in the Department of Architecture at MIT. Professor Norford’s current research focuses on interactions of buildings with the natural and built urban environment. His group studies the contributions of buildings to the urban heat island effect, the impact of urban heating on building performance, the transport of urban pollutants and control of building electrical systems to provide services to electricity distribution systems.
Despite accelerated use of air conditioning to establish comfortable conditions inside buildings in urban areas, India is noted for continued reliance on less costly natural ventilation. Airflows across a building façade can either improve or degrade indoor air quality, as a function of the location of pollutant sources (indoor or outdoor) and airflows in the near-surface urban canopy layer. With the support of the Tata Center, Norford and colleagues seek to incorporate into building performance simulation programs estimates of ambient pollutant concentrations and pollutant transport through window openings of urban buildings and to validate analysis methods with experimental measurements.