Analysis tool for calibrating energy models with utility data.
Thermal image for a building envelope element.
Energy model for an existing nonprofit building.
A research group from the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering is set to receive $8 million through the U.S. Department of Energy's Renew America Nonprofits program to provide technical assistance that helps nonprofits reduce energy use, with the saved funds redirected toward the nonprofits’ mission-driven initiatives. Professor Moncef Krarti serves as principal investigator, while Professors Gregor Henze and John Zhai serve as co-principal investigators for this award.
The project will be supported for four years with a budget of $5.7 million from DOE funds and $2.3 million as cost-share, primarily from industry contributions.
“In addition to assisting numerous nonprofit organizations in the Rocky Mountain region, CU Boulder’s project places a significant emphasis on involving and training students in all stages of renovating existing buildings,” said Krarti, who also is the project’s director.
The project involves creating tools to measure and analyze the impact of energy efficiency strategies in facilities owned and operated by nonprofits in the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
The students’ involvement spans from using advanced tools for energy auditing, to preparing construction bids, conducting retro-commissioning tasks and assessing the impacts of deploying diverse energy efficiency strategies. Futhermore, the students will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate innovative approaches for evaluating, managing and maximizing the sustainability benefits of energy retrofit projects.
The DOE launched the $50 million Renew America’s Nonprofits Program, also known as the Energy Efficiency Materials Pilot Program, under President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This program aims to reduce carbon emissions, improve health and safety, and lower utilities costs for buildings owned and operated by 501(c)(3) nonprofits. This first-of-its-kind investment in the nonprofit sector aims to facilitate high-impact energy efficiency improvements, creating cleaner, healthier community spaces, while generating sustainable savings that can be redirected toward mission-driven work. Additionally, it aims to stimulate widespread energy improvements in the nonprofit sector, fostering partnerships between stakeholders to establish a pipeline of energy and cost-saving projects that will continue beyond the grant's duration.