Building Environment Systems Cluster

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA, 2010) reports that, in coming years, building sector energy consumption will grow faster than that of industry and transportation. Between 2012 and 2030, total building sector energy consumption will increase by 4.74 Quadrillion Btu (QBtu). Industry will grow by 3.33 QBtu and transportation is expected to decrease by 0.37 QBtu (EIA 2010). Effectively addressing the U.S. and world’s energy needs in the near and long-term has important design implications for the building sector. Building sector professionals can dramatically reduce U.S. and global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the next twenty years and beyond. HVAC systems in commercial and residential buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of total energy use.

Current CAE Focus related to Cluster:

CAE faculty maintains  research activity in areas of  building envelope optimization in context of energy consumption, environmental comfort and water/wastewater system management. Current research activities include development and accuracy improvements of virtual fan air flow and virtual pump water flow meters using the fan/pump motor system characteristics. CAE faculty has recently started a new pilot project investigating the application of virtual flow meters coupled with Variable Frequency Drives on optimization of multi-pump wastewater pump stations in Miami-Dade County (MDC). Other research projects under investigation also  include development of cooling demand response actuators with an add-on energy meter-embedded module for air handling units in commercial buildings and  optimization of residential HVAC system operation using AI based algorithms.

Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Collaboration:

CAE faculty has established ongoing relationships for conducting research aimed at meeting the needs of regional communities, governmental agencies and codes/standards/regulatory entities. Many of these collaborations focus around built environment energy efficiency, thermal comfort, controls, renewable energy generation, water/wastewater conservation and adaptation of new regulatory standards and codes for the built environment. Most recently CAE faculty has been instrumental in the development of the GPRO Certificate program in response to Building Efficiency 305 initiative of the MDC Office of Resilience; similarly, CAE faculty has also been working jointly with MDC Department of Health in addressing the building mechanical system operational characteristics for improved air quality in light of the challenges resulting from COVID-19 pandemic.

COE Thrust Supported: Sustainability and Resilience, Data Sciences

Graduate Courses Offered: CAE 660 (Sustainable Construction), CAE 661 (CAD), CAE 665 (Facilities Operation and Management), CAE 681 (Energy Efficient Building Design), CAE 682 (Building Energy Modeling and Simulation), CAE 744 (Risk Management and Resilience), CAE 761 (Building Information Modeling II), CAE 766 (Forensic Engineering), CAE 769 (Construction Management Capstone), CAE 780 (Building Environmental Modeling), CAE 781 (Advanced Building Energy Modeling and Simulation)

PhD Students and Research Personnel (non-faculty):  3 PhDs with shared duties (Z. Wang, N. Lewis, G.Li), 1 Visiting Scholars (Dr. M. Zarif)

Faculty Participants:

  • Coordinator: Wang (proposed)
  • CAE Members: G. Wang, E. Andiroglu, M. Trussoni
  • Other Department & Schools Participants: Kelly (MBS), C. Meyer (SoA), M. Estevenes (RSMAS), R. Molina (RSMAS), J. Owley (SoL), J. Lamere (SoA), D. Young (DCIE), M. G. Rodrigues (A&S), S. Chao (SoA), T. Lhoutellier (UM Sustainability Manager), J. Verona (UM Facility Operations & Planning).