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 maintain research activity in the areas of building envelope optimization in context of energy consumption, environmental comfort and water/wastewater system management. Current research activities 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; development and accuracy improvements of virtual fan air flow and virtual pump water flow meters using the fan/pump motor system characteristics. Other current research projects include investigation of water usage patterns and end uses in commercial and residential plumbing as they relate to system design, pipe sizing, conveyance energy demand and impact of water use/flow rate/flow velocity on water quality and biofilm growth for opportunistic pathogen emergence as public health hazard.

Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Under the umbrella of HVAC Laboratory and Sustainability and Resilience Adaptation Laboratory (SUREAL) housed in CAE, faculty and teams of PhD students have established ongoing relationships for conducting research aimed at meeting the needs of regional communities and governmental agencies in response to multi-dimensional climate change impacts. Many of these collaborations focus around built environment energy efficiency, thermal comfort/controls, renewable energy generation and distribution, water/wastewater resources, AI based water and air quality monitoring for mitigating public health hazards and adaptation of new regulatory standards and framework for the built environment. In collaboration with Miami Dade College (MDC) and multiple industry partners, CAE faculty have recently initiated workforce development focused programs such as Building Automation Technician Training and Construction Management Technician Training, which aims to transform the next generation of workforce through the integration of technological innovations emerging from cutting edge research into training program curriculum.

COE Thrusts Supported

  • Sustainability and Resilience
  • Energy and Environment
  • Health Engineering
  • Data Sciences

Graduate Courses Offered

  • CAE 660 (Sustainable Construction)
  • CAE 661 (CAD)
  • AE 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)
  • CAE 782 (Control Theory and HVAC Applications) 

7 PhDs with shared duties

  • N. Lewis
  • G. Li
  • D. Rich
  • A. Perry
  • N. Jean-Louis
  • H. Anand

Visiting Scholar

  • Dr. M. Zarif


  • G. Wang

CAE Members

  • G. Wang
  • E. Andiroglu
  • M. Trussoni

Other Department & Schools Participants

  • M. Erkoc (CoE)
  • N. Celik (CoE)
  • J. Englehardt (CoE)
  • H. Solo-Gabriele (CoE)
  • P. Biswas (CoE)
  • E. Celik (CoE)
  • D. Chin (CoE)
  • X. Zhou (CoE)
  • J. Li (CoE)
  • D. Kelly (MBS)
  • J. Stoler (A&S)
  • J. Lombard (SoA)
  • M. Esteves (RSMAS)
  • J. Owley (SoL)
  • J. Lamere (SoA)
  • M. G. Rodrigues (A&S)
  • A. Clement (RSMAS)
  • A. Fleming (SoL)
  • T. L’Houtellier (UM Sustainability Manager)
  • J. Verona (UM Facility Operations & Planning)