Penn State, ASHRAE partner on increasing building efficiency

November 10, 2011

A partnership was created between Pennsylvania State University and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) after both entities signed a memorandum, according to Contracting Business

The news source reported that the memo was signed as part of an effort to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of buildings through the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy-Efficient Buildings (GPIC).

This project, located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, is a consortium of academic institutions, federal laboratories, global industry partners, regional economic development agencies and other stakeholders that have joined forces to use funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) to foster energy independence and create jobs for the mid-Atlantic region.

The GPIC's efforts are intended to establish the region as a national center for energy efficient research, education, policy and commercialization.

According to Contracting Business, ASHRAE signed the memorandum to join forces with the GPIC members, as they share the goal of transforming the retrofit industry by setting future goals to achieve.

"ASHRAE brings a tremendous amount of technical knowledge and experience that will be very useful to the GPIC as we strive toward solving one of the nation's most serious energy problems by dramatically reducing energy consumption in commercial buildings," Henry Foley, executive director of the GPIC and vice president for research for Penn State, said. "Together, we can create quality jobs in the region and boost the building industry."

The partnership will benefit both entities, as ASHRAE will assist in the GPIC effort in the areas of research, education, certification, standards and guidelines, the news source reported.

The GPIC has made significant strides since the consortium of institutions was gathered, as the future hub for the initiative is being renovated with the latest in energy efficient building technology, according to The Navy Yard News.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has visited the site several times to check the progress of recent developments, including the opening of the short-term headquarters for the site, Building 101.

The GPIC will have held 10 workshops and educational events by the end of 2011 that are designed to engage the building industry and other stakeholder's in the project's work and to help spur interest in future developments at the site.