Building Environment Simulation and Testing (BEST)

Simulation & Testing Facility

The Building Environment Simulation and Testing Facility  (BEST) is a state of the art installation designed for full scale thermal and air quality research.  It consists of an environmental and a climatic chamber each with its own HVAC system.   The facility’s 32 foot by 16 foot chamber with 8 foot high ceilings can be flexibly partitioned.  Sophisticated controls and data acquisition systems enable the facility to run a wide range of environmental conditions, including chemical exposure conditions, and to ascertain the energy consumption, air quality, and thermal comfort of different HVAC systems both in the facility and on the site.  

This facility has been designed for maximum flexibility to encourage a wide variety of research and testing programs. Both the HVAC systems and the control systems are reconfigurable such that components, subsystems or even complete systems may be easily installed, modified and tested.  

Example Testing Capabilities:

  • Room air and air contaminant distribution studies
  • Development and evaluation of numerical models for indoor heat and contaminant distribution simulations
  • Studies of thermal and indoor air quality performance of different ventilation strategies
  • Energy performances of HVAC systems
  • Evaluation of indoor environmental sensors and control systems
  • Evaluation of thermal performance of building envelope components and  heat and mass transfer processes in green roof systems
Experiment that evaluated green roof mockups


The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304