Day: January 24, 2013

U of M wins $4.5 million NSF grant to study low-carbon, sustainable cities

Read the full story from the University of Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota announced today that it has received a four-year, $4.5 million Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to design, compare and contrast the development of sustainable and healthy cities in the U.S. and Asia. The grant will explore the specific transformations needed to achieve low-carbon, resource-efficient and healthy city goals in the United States, China and India.

Advancing Residential Retrofits in the Mixed Humid Climate to Achieve Deep Energy Savings: Final Report on Knoxville, TN Homes

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To contribute to the Department of Energy goal of enabling cost effective energy retrofits with 50% source energy reduction of the residential house stock by 2030, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has spurred and analyzed residential retrofits in the mixed-humid climate around Knoxville, Tennessee.

Artists Create Mobile App to Explore Wilderness in Urban Spaces

Read the full story from the University of Rochester.

There’s no debating that smartphones have sped up communication. But two professors at the University of Rochester are looking to do the opposite by using mobile technology to slow people down. Their new “Indeterminate Hikes” (IH+) app encourages participants to focus attention on the environment and experience nature in unexpected urban spaces.

To Tackle Runoff, Cities Turn to Green Initiatives

Read the full story at Yale360.

Urban stormwater runoff is a serious problem, overloading sewage treatment plants and polluting waterways. Now, various U.S. cities are creating innovative green infrastructure — such as rain gardens and roadside plantings — that mimics the way nature collects and cleanses water.

Compost Moves Up in NYC

Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal.

Half-eaten salads tossed out by Midtown office workers these days can end up being carted to an upstate compost farm and then returned to Midtown buildings for use as fertilizer on green rooftops.

With more green roofs sprouting up across New York’s skyline, the Durst Organization says it will spend between $750,000 and $1 million to install more than an acre of green space atop its Midtown Manhattan buildings.

Advanced, Integrated Control for Building Operations to Achieve 40% Energy Saving

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Through this ARRA/DOE project, we developed and demonstrated a software based integrated advanced building control platform called Smart Energy Box (SEB), which can coordinate building subsystem controls, integrate variety of energy optimization algorithms and provide proactive and collaborative energy management and control for building operations using weather and occupancy information.

Cost-Effectiveness of Home Energy Retrofits in Pre-Code Vintage Homes in the United States

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This analytical study examines the opportunities for cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits in residential archetypes constructed prior to 1980 (Pre-Code) in fourteen U.S. cities. These fourteen cities are representative of each of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) climate zones in the contiguous U.S. The analysis is conducted using an in-house version of EnergyGauge USA v.2.8.05 named CostOpt that has been programmed to perform iterative, incremental economic optimization on a large list of residential energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofit measures. The principle objectives of the study are as follows: to determine the opportunities for cost effective source energy reductions in this large cohort of existing residential building stock as a function of local climate and energy costs; and to examine how retrofit financing alternatives impact the source energy reductions that are cost effectively achievable.

Energy Efficient Opportunities During Remodeling or Renovation

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Residential buildings go through many changes during their useful life, which is defined more by their care and maintenance, than age. Many homes that are a century old are still serviceable and desirable and even older homes that have been abandoned can be renovated. In contrast, many newly built homes are good candidates for energy efficiency retrofit measures before occupancy.

Measure Guideline: Energy-Efficient Window Performance and Selection

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This document provides guidelines for the selection of energy-efficient windows in new and existing residential construction in all US climate zones. It includes information on window products, their attributes and performance. It provides cost/benefit information on window energy savings as well as information on non-energy benefits such as thermal comfort and reduced HVAC demands. The document also provides information on energy impacts of design decisions such as window orientation, total glazing area and shading devices and conditions. Information on resources for proper window installation is included as well. This document is for builders, homeowners, designers and anyone making decisions about selecting energy efficient window. It is intended to complement other Building America information and efforts.