Simi Hoque’s Urban Modeling

Dr. Simi Hoque is passionate about improving the ways in which buildings use the earth’s resources.  She teaches environmental systems and sustainable design principles in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst. Her research, partially funded by the Center’s Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station, is focused around the application and development of energy-efficient buildings. Dr. Hoque specializes in energy modeling, resource efficiency, and systems design. She is co-author of a recent online publication (October 2013) intended to provide a quantitative approach to assessing sustainability indicators in a city. Research Cities today generate almost two-thirds of the world’s primary energy demand. By 2030, this 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 and programs to address climate change and energy security. Dr. Hoque’s research is aimed at developing an analytical framework to integrate the performance indicators for buildings, transportation systems, and green spaces...
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New Book by UMass Amherst’s Schreyer Expands Understanding of Architectural Computer-Aided Design Software

AMHERST, Mass. – Alexander C. Schreyer, assistant director and lecturer of the building and construction technology (BCT) program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and faculty member in the architecture + design program, has released a book on SketchUp, a popular three dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software, titled “Architectural Design with SketchUp.” Published and released as paperback and e-book editions, the book is now available through online and local bookstores. SketchUp is a popular three dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software owned by Trimble Navigation Ltd of Sunnyvale, Calif. Schreyer has taught courses focusing on SketchUp and other 3D CAD and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to students in the BCT and other programs since 2003. His courses include construction materials and methods, wood properties, advanced topics in “CAD and Tectonics 3,” the capstone structural course for the master’s of architecture program at UMass Amherst. He also has authored various plugins for SketchUp and is a regular beta-tester for this software. “I realized that...
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Ben Weil Releases Holdsworth Hall Retrofit and Renovation Report for Energy Efficiency

Proposed Holdsworth Hall Retrofit and Renovation would reduce energy usage by 63% and carbon dioxide emissions by 82% The recommendations in this report are the product of a detailed and careful examination and exploration of the building and its operations. Begun as a project in a graduate course taught by Ben Weil, Extension Assistant Professor in Building Energy, the final report was further developed and refined by Weil, and two graduate students in Building Systems, Carl Fiocchi, and Katherine McCusker. The key findings are: (1) very significant energy savings can be achieved at moderate cost, without affecting the basic architectural design, and (2) the building is a complex system, and no change can be considered in isolation. Single measures may achieve savings, but cannot maximize savings or performance without complementary changes in related systems. A final package of recommended measures, reducing the energy consumptions of Holdsworth by 63%, will define a new building system with emergent properties that make for a qualitatively different and...
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