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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UMass Amherst Students Build Timber Grid Shell as Pop-up Exhibition on Fine Arts Center Plaza

UMass Amherst Students Build Timber Grid Shell as Pop-up Exhibition on Fine Arts Center Plaza

After a lot of work, the timber gridshell on the Fine Arts Center plaza is now finally up and open to the public. This multidisciplinary design-build project, led by BCT faculty Peggi Clouston and supported by BCT adjunct faculty John Fabel (and many others), involved many students from across UMass. You can find more information in the official press release (below) and on the accompanying website: AMHERST, Mass. – A massive and intricate wooden dome temporarily adorning the plaza of the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was engineered and constructed by UMass students over two semesters as part of a wood design studio class. Known in technical circles as a timber grid shell, the structure is the end product  of a course taught by Peggi Clouston, associate professor in the building and construction technology program at the university. Thirty feet in diameter, the 3,500-pound shell rises to 11 feet at the center. The 52 longest laths in the...
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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...
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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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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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