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...
Read More
Hoque receives CNS college’s Outstanding Service/Outreach award

Hoque receives CNS college’s Outstanding Service/Outreach award

BCT faculty member Simi Hoque just received this year's CNS college's Outstanding Service/Outreach award. We congratulate her on that amazing accomplishment! From the announcement: Simi Hoque, Environmental Conservation, recently received a five-year, $508,714 NSF CAREER award to develop an integrated planning tool that will measure, evaluate and predict the impacts of energy, water and land use, waste management and transportation systems at an urban scale. The green building expert intends it to help planners and policymakers guide growth and development in a coordinated, sustainable way. Hoque, an assistant professor in the Building and Construction Technology Program, points out that cities today account for almost two-thirds of the world's primary energy demand, a figure projected to increase to three-quarters by 2030. "The current urban outlook demands a comprehensive understanding of urban sustainability policies to address climate change and energy security," she says. Read more...
Read More
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...
Read More
BCT’s Ben Weil discusses Ice Dams on Boston.com

BCT’s Ben Weil discusses Ice Dams on Boston.com

Ben Weil, BCT's extension faculty member in building energy, was called upon recently by Boston.com to discuss the ever-popular winter topic of ice dams. The following article features his very helpful tips for avoiding this common winter nuisance: Ice dam basics: How to prevent them and avoid a lot of costly water damage For more on the topic, also check out our other article on this site: Preventing Ice Dams....
Read More