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Construction & Design

State seeking bright sparks for new building consortium

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking proposals from qualified researchers to establish and operate an Advanced Building Consortium in New York State — an organization made up of experts in the building trades working together to make buildings more energy efficient and cheaper to construct.

Funding of up to $7.5 million is available to develop and run the consortium for five years.

The consortium would help create and demonstrate new products and methods in the state’s building market.

The work would help promote new technology to increase building energy efficiency, resiliency and reduce construction and operating costs.

The project supports Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY initiative to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years by strategically accelerating priority improvements in energy performance.

JOHN RHODES

“Tremendous innovation is occurring in building systems and technologies, which is accelerating Governor Cuomo’s agenda to improve energy efficiency and advance our clean-energy economy,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

“The Advanced Building Consortium will look at all facets of the industry, from the materials used to construct buildings to the heating and power systems used to keep them inhabitable, in an effort to reduce energy use and building cost.”

Proposals are due March 20 and the consortium is expected to have a working organization in place before the end of 2014.

The consortium is expected to have broad representation from technology developers, researchers, designers, building supply industry participants, and building operators and owners.

Building industry stakeholders will help identify technology gaps and priorities, support early-stage development and help introduce new products for use by state-based manufacturers, builders and building operators.

For example, if an applicant wanted to pursue technology to make it easy for a solar power project to continue operating during a power outage, that applicant might include experts from various industries that normally wouldn’t be working together — battery experts, heating engineers, electricians and contractors, for instance. That sort of cross-disciplinary cooperation is the key to this consortium.

The consortium will have a focus area selected from the winning proposer’s submission, such as building automation, HVAC, building envelopes, new techniques for renewable energy integration, or a single building concept, such as innovative retrofit technologies for existing buildings.

The consortium’s focus can be applicable for residential, multi-family, commercial or institutional buildings.

Using a combination of workshops, conferences and other outreach activities, the consortium will support the adoption and success of these new technologies. By involving a number of industries in these eventual products, the consortium will help to drive interest in these products.

NYSERDA estimates that 62 percent of the state’s energy consumption and 50 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions come from building-related energy use.

According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers, high-tech building designs can reduce energy use in a new building by up to 50 percent, and energy use in an existing building by up to 30 percent.

For more information on the Advanced Building Consortium solicitation, see NYSERDA.NY.GOV/PON2630.

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