Dr. Day serves as Co-PI on two funded DOE BENEFIT proposals

August 13, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $83 million in funding for 44 projects that will lower Americans’ energy bills by investing in new energy-efficient building technologies, construction practices, and the U.S. buildings-sector workforce. DOE’s Building Technologies Office competitively selected these projects from its Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) funding opportunity announcement.

These projects will help fund student research assistants while aligning with the ID+CL’s mission. The two projects that are being awarded are described below:

Washington State University (Pullman, Washington) will develop a curriculum on the design and construction of high-performing, energy-efficient residential buildings. The curriculum will provide students with an interdisciplinary grounding in building science, and address skill gaps in efficient building construction identified by DOE. Julia Day, Director of the ID+CL, is a listed Co_PI on this BENEFIT funded project, specifically developing a course focusing on occupant comfort aspects of building performance.

Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts) will develop a 14-hour curriculum that teaches entry-level building operators about the operation of grid-interactive efficient buildings. The curriculum will include a hands-on building operation demonstrator that integrates building energy simulation with real-world building automation system hardware and interfaces to simulate the effects of automated systems on building energy dynamics.

WSU has received a subcontract with Northeastern University, for a large DOE grant titled “Building Operators: Grid and Occupant (BOGO) Training. Through this funding, ID+CL will develop the Building Operator: Grid-Occupant (BOGO) training modules to expand the training of entry-level building operators beyond a focus on energy efficiency and peak demand reductions, to include energy flexibility. Our overall goal is to assist building operators with effectively communicating & coordinating with appropriate industry experts.

Tasks for this project include: leading the design of the occupant-centric-relevant curriculum, developing case studies to support the project and program, creating virtual walkthroughs and innovative teaching tools, providing graphic design support for the simulation environment, and lastly assisting with developing pre- and post-test evaluation materials to assess the developed curriculum to evaluate overall program success.