Taking a look at innovation: Exploring the EEB Hub

June 28, 2012

Philadelphia has been known throughout American history as a place full of history relating to freedom, with the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the room where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence all being located within the city limits. However, the area has taken on a different feel in the past several years, as innovation is becoming synonymous with the City of Brotherly Love.

CNN reported that a booming energy innovation center located in the city's historic navy yard is now putting Philadelphia back on the national map.

Situated behind Broad Street, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) is home to some of the nation's brightest minds, as they are working together to try and transform the commercial real estate market in the U.S.

The EEB Hub is comprised of people from academia, the private sector, energy development companies and the government, as these individuals are designing, developing and testing technology and building systems that will increase efficiency and cut costs.

This effort has also been a stimulus to the rest of the Philadelphia Navy Yard development, as a number of retailers and organizations have moved into the area. According to the news outlet, there is also a Sustainability Workshop located at the site, as this school embraces a project-based learning model and teaches children about cost-saving technologies and consumption lowering building components.

"This DOE (Department of Energy) grant that’s going on down at the Navy Yard, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, was our first doorway into starting a school," Simon Hauger, the group's 42-year-old co-founder, told CNN.

At the school, students learn about the work being done at the EEB Hub and use this framework to learn about the energy efficiency industry. The Department of Energy is completely behind the project, according to Colin McCormick, the senior technical adviser for the agency.

"We want to see the kids be a part of making exciting buildings that perform better," said McCormick.

According to the EEB Hub blog, there is also a summer-long apprenticeship program for motivated high school students who are looking to perform independent work related to the sector. This effort will help these individuals gain an understanding of the industry and prepare them for work later in life.