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Energy-Effective Design

The IExE seeks to develop tools, technologies and processes to reduce energy consumption in the built environment while at the same time promoting human health and wellbeing. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the building sector consumes nearly half (48.7%) of all energy produced in the US – about the same amount of energy consumed by transportation (28.1%) and industry (23.2%) together.

Motivated to reduce energy demand through energy efficiency improvements, to effect consumer behavior change, and to improve systems and technology performance, IExE researchers in the Energy-Effective Design cluster are exploring novel building materials such as low-carbon emission concrete; studying the complex interactions of the chemistry of building components, building inhabitants, and outdoor air and their impact on indoor air quality and the health and wellbeing of occupants; developing new building operational strategies that save energy while improving indoor environmental quality; identifying poorly performing building system components using low-cost sensor and data analysis techniques; discovering environmental criteria that enhance human wellbeing; building social resilience for climate disruption; developing new dynamic building envelope systems that respond to changes in the natural environment to conserve energy; and identifying the role of urban planning and interaction with human health (e.g. walkable cities promote health, reduce transportation impacts).