dianaz's blog


And thus summer comes to an end. It was a lot of fun working with the CoolClimate team and interns, and I met some great people. I learned a lot about Excel and finding data, and also read about various green building certification schemes and cradle to cradle design, natural capitalism, community, and biomimicry through our intern book talks. The work that I did here will improve the local government decision support tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and help produce a consumption-based international household carbon footprint calculator.

GreenPoint Rated Climate Calculator

RAEL conducted a study on Build It Green’s GreenPoint Rated* (GPR) Climate Calculator, reevaluating the assumptions and calculations of the first version of the calculator to improve the accuracy of the results. The calculator estimates the direct and embedded greenhouse gas emissions of home construction and renovation in California from home size, occupancy, appliances, energy and water use, landscape (shade trees), refrigerant leakages, and materials.


The summer is almost over! It went by pretty quickly. What sorts of things have I worked on with the CoolClimate Team?

Excel tips and tricks 3: Naming cells

Naming cells is a pretty cool thing! Last semester I wondered how my professor was able to simply type in the name of a value (like CO2emissions) without specifying a cell (like B1). Turns out, you can give your cells their own names instead of using the default names like A1! And so much more useful, too. “B1” can quickly become meaningless, especially if you have a lot of data. So let’s give our important cells meaningful names!

Excel Tips and Tricks 2: Sorting, Filtering, and Subtotaling

Here is an explanation of these three extremely useful capabilities and some tips I wish I knew before using them! (I learned these the hard way.) I will give directions for Excel and OpenOffice, adding endnotes where OpenOffice differs from Excel.

A review of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things was written by William McDonough and Michael Braungart and published in 2002. McDonough is a leading figure in the sustainable design movement and the chief (or rather, only) administrator of official “cradle to cradle” (or C2C) product certification. C2C design is one of the most awesome ideas I have heard of, but the track record of practical C2C implementation by McDonough has been spotty and drawn criticism from within the sustainable design community.

What is a municipal greenhouse gas inventory?

The Kyoto Protocol was probably the first major attempt at greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting for countries, but now cities are getting on the bandwagon as well. Greenhouse gas inventories are important for establishing a city’s climate impact and tracking changes in emissions, usually with the purpose of mitigating climate change. They can also highlight areas where local governments can target to reduce GHG emissions. So, how do local communities inventory their GHG emissions?

What's up with all those green building certification schemes?

Many green building or certification schemes have cropped up internationally over the past couple decades as environmental awareness continues to grow. People have come to realize that buildings contribute a very substantial amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are trying to decrease building impacts on the environment through various green standards that address different aspects of a building’s ecological footprint.

Excel tips and tricks

I discovered how to use VLOOKUP. What fun! It was very handy in gathering data across sheets in my document. There are a lot of explanations on the web, but here’s mine for Microsoft 2012. (Most of this information is from Excel’s Help Center--it’s quite useful!)

In Excel 2012, the VLOOKUP function looks like this:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

Diana Zheng

Bio and Research Interests
Diana is a rising senior at Cal majoring in Environmental Sciences and minoring in Energy and Resources. She has always been interested in the environment, and most recently has become interested in climate change and sustainable energy thanks to her minor. Diana is a Data Analysis Intern on the CoolCalifornia Team and will be working on building energy use this summer.

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