NSF funds new CU research center for sustainable building technology

BOULDER — The University of Colorado, with support from the National Science Foundation and in partnership with the City College of New York, is launching Building Energy Smart Technologies (BEST) Center, a five-year research initiative focused on sustainable building and construction technology.

The center will study an array of related topics ranging from HVAC manufacturing to smart glazing for windows, smart building controls, advanced insulation materials, new energy storage systems, the integration of renewables such as solar systems, and improved air quality systems, according to a CU news release.

“This is a long term commitment to solve industry problems and make buildings adaptive,” BEST Center director Moncef Krarti said in the release. “Many western countries want to be net zero in carbon emissions by 2050. That’s a significant challenge. To achieve that, we need a new set of innovative and smart technologies. We have to combine energy efficiency, reduce demand, and deploy renewable energy into buildings so they can be a net positive, actually producing energy, not just consuming power.”

NSF will provide $1.5 million in funding, which will be matched by industry partners. 

“The new center will operate under the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers model,” according to CU. “This setup is designed to help startups, large corporate partners and government agencies connect directly with university researchers to solve common research obstacles in a low-risk environment.”

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