Progress at EEB Hub highlights growing importance of energy efficient buildings

June 13, 2012

The U.S. government has looked to a joint public and private sector effort to promote the use of energy efficient buildings and technology in the country as a way of limiting the overall energy consumption levels that commercial structures are responsible for.

The Department of Energy designated the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) an innovation Hub to promote the use of retrofitting and structure upgrades to cut energy use for commercial properties.

Located in Philadelphia, this consortium of institutions from the private sector, government, energy development companies and academia is tasked with influencing the real estate market in the Greater Philadelphia region.

The EEB Hub recently presented a paper at the International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings (IEECB) in Frankfurt, Germany, which included a detailed analysis of how to achieve significant energy reduction for a mid-sized office market, according to the HUBlog.

The paper, "The Impact of Stakeholder Decision Criteria on Energy Efficient Retrofits in the Mid-Sized Office Sector," was authored by Russell Taylor, UTRC Staff Engineer, Andrew Dasinger, UTRC Manager of Market and Policy Analysis, William Sisson, UTRC Director of Sustainability, Kevin Otto of Robust Systems and Strategy; and Liam Hendricken and Patrick Gurian of Drexel University.

According to the blog, Taylor presented the paper on the first day of the conference, outlining how a market-wide reduction in primary energy consumption of 48 percent may be achievable by 2050. He noted that this goal could be achieved through a combination of building energy code enhancements and incentives related to the energy performance of entire structures.

The EEB Hub has also been busy at home, as the initiative's Sustainability Workshop recently graduated 27 students. An end-of-year celebration was held to recognize the center's first graduating class, as pupils from Philadelphia public high schools spent time in a project-based learning environment.

According to the HUBlog, the students were exposed to the work of the EEB Hub, where they learned about sustainability and energy efficient technology that helps to reduce consumption levels for buildings.

Dr. Hank Foley, the executive director of the EEB Hub, challenged the graduates to use what they learned at the center in order to continue education in the field and pursue their passions to make a difference in the world.