Can College Kids Help Mass. Towns Go Green?

Can College Kids Help Mass. Towns Go Green?

BCT's extension faculty member Ben Weil and his "Clean Energy Corps" students (from the BCT 597R course) were recently in the news with their efforts to make buildings more sustainable for Massachusetts' municipalities: Let Us Introduce the UMass Clean Energy Corps Ask town officials what they think in Ware. Ask them in Natick, and in Greenfield. Palmer too. These are some of the towns where the new UMass Clean Energy Corps has touched down in the few months since its founding. The Corps is a student-centered initiative focused on helping communities across the Commonwealth develop and meet their clean energy goals. It was created by UMass Clean Energy Extension, a research and outreach program that in its first two years of life has been helping transform communities and businesses into cleaner, more efficient places to live, work, and grow into the future. UMass Clean Energy Extension is a program of UMass Extension (or as it was once known, Cooperative Extension), which, for over a hundred...
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Hoque receives NSF CAREER grant to study urban development impacts

Hoque receives NSF CAREER grant to study urban development impacts

Cities today contribute almost two-thirds of the world’s primary energy demand. By 2030, this fraction is projected to increase to three-quarters, matching the urban sector’s expected share of global energy-related CO2 emissions. The current urban outlook demands a comprehensive understanding of urban sustainability policies to address climate change and energy security. Dr. Simi Hoque, assistant professor in Building and Construction Technology, has been awarded an NSF CAREER grant, valued at over $550.000 to develop an Integrated Urban Metabolism Analytical Tool (IUMAT) to measure, evaluate, and predict the impacts of energy and water use, land use, and transportation systems at an urban scale. This interdisciplinary project will involve a collaborative research coalition comprised of Amherst Town Conservation Department, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, and faculty from Civil Engineering and Urban Planning at UMass-Amherst. Broadly, IUMAT will be applied to evaluate city sustainability planning scenarios and support outreach STEM activities among middle...
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Hoque Co-PI in $1M NSF grant to study intelligent building systems

Hoque Co-PI in $1M NSF grant to study intelligent building systems

Together with Co-PIs Prashant Shenoy in Computer Science and David Irwin in Electrical and Computer Engineering, BCT faculty member Simi Hoque has received a three-year, $1M grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to work with Holyoke Gas & Electric Co. (HG&E) to develop smart energy services that will improve grid efficiency, encourage energy conservation and promote local renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar. This grant was awarded through Utility Driven Smart Energy Services and will be used to design more intelligent technologies and systems for buildings. Hoque and her students will be studying building occupants' behavior to understand how they interact with energy-using equipment in their homes in order to design systems and incentives that motivate energy awareness and energy conserving behavior. Link: http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-researchers-receive-1...
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BCT students involved in energy assessment of local food co-op

Together with BCT faculty member Ben Weil, several energy auditing BCT students participated in the project mentioned below. They conducted a thermographic scan and pressure test of the building and will be calibrating an energy model to allow the co-op to size a heating system that will primarily use waste heat from the refrigerators and the freezers. QUABBIN HARVEST ZERO NET ENERGY BUILDING GRANT February 25, 2015 The Massachusetts Pathways to Zero grant program of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has approved the application from the North Quabbin Community Food Coop for funding a Zero Net Energy Design.  Quabbin Harvest, a community based grocery store is, by nature, an energy intensive operation.  A zero net energy building is very energy efficient produces what little energy it does consume through on-site renewable energy (over the course of a year). The task is to find ways to operate both the building and the store without any extra energy that would normally be required from traditional sources. "Massachusetts is supporting...
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