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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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....
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UMass celebrates new Design Building’s construction

UMass celebrates new Design Building’s construction

On Friday, October 16th, 2015, UMass campus officials, local politicians, faculty and students celebrated a belated "ground-breaking" for the new UMass Design Building. This event was covered by the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Republican, and WWLP. UMass University Relations also produced the video shown below, in which the chancellor and the three program and department leaders elaborate on their vision for this new collaborative academic space. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENOuRscC6H0 We in BCT are of course tremendously proud of the fact that this building will be the most technologically advanced heavy-timber structure in the eastern US, which makes it a showcase for sustainable building with wood in the region and far beyond. It even includes wood-concrete composite technology that was researched right here in our program by Peggi Clouston et al. In a steel-dominated construction environment, this would not have been possible without the vision and support of many people. Those include BCT faculty Peggi Clouston and Alex Schreyer, former congressman John Olver, state representatives Stan Rosenberg and Ellen Story, and UMass administration with chancellor Kumble...
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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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Crowdfunding Campaign Underway for Wood on the Plaza Project

Crowdfunding Campaign Underway for Wood on the Plaza Project

Together with her graduate students, BCT Associate Professor Peggi Clouston is starting a crowdfunding campaign to turn the idea of a 30-foot wooden gridshell into reality. The project involves a large public art exhibition on Wood Architecture and Engineering to be held on the Plaza of the UMass Fine Arts Center. The plan is to build a 30 foot timber grid shell as a demonstration structure to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of wood construction while at the same time create excitement around the new UMass Design Building being framed in wood. The promotional video is below and here’s a link to the project website where anyone can make an online donation:  http://woodontheplaza.info/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRqNPCq3PVM&feature=youtu.be There are major company donors already but the team is seeking everyone's help in getting the word out. Please share this post with anyone who may interested in supporting the cause....
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