IUCRC Proposal Phase I: University of Colorado Boulder: Center for Building Energy Smart Technologies (BEST)

  • Krarti, Moncef M. (PI)
  • Baker, Kyri K.A. (CoPI)
  • Zhai, Zhiqiang Z. (CoPI)
  • Henze, Gregor (CoPI)
  • Zuo, Wangda (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Building Energy Smart Technologies (BEST) IUCRC brings together universities and industries to transform the building industry through the development and adoption of sustainable and intelligent technologies. BEST will apply innovative, energy-smart technologies through a wide spectrum of US buildings. BEST will be located in two sites: the lead site at University of Colorado Boulder (CUB) and the partner site at City College of New York (CCNY), taking advantage of the diverse academic, natural and industrial environments these locations provide. The BEST center will foster smart, sustainable, and efficient development and utilization of energy in the built environment through an integrated systems approach to design, retrofit, construct, and operate sustainable buildings and cities. Ultimately, the BEST Center will support the U.S. building industry's efforts to meet increasingly stringent building energy-efficiency regulations, and society's expectations for improved sustainability, resiliency, and security in communities and cities. The BEST Center will support the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Moreover, the center will educate and train a skilled and diverse workforce to address current and future employment needs for the U.S. building industry.

The BEST Center will enable the development of new and sustainable building energy technologies through a holistic understanding of the interactions between built and-natural systems. In particular, the center will address design and operation solutions for the built environment associated with extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent and intense due to a rapidly changing climate. Additionally, the center will focus on the emerging challenges in the building sector due to pandemics and health crises such as those caused by COVID-19, and increase cybersecurity of the buildings systems and of occupants' privacy. The center's research scope spans various disciplines specific to building energy systems, including indoor-outdoor energy flows, advanced building envelope systems, demand-response informatics, application of advanced in-situ and remote sensing for monitoring the environment and occupants, and distributed energy efficient and renewable technologies. To cover the rich and wide diversity of the building industry needs, five Thrust Areas are proposed for the center's research activities: (i) smart buildings materials, (ii) intelligent building mechanical and electrical energy systems, (iii) distributed and renewable energy systems, (iv) city-scale building energy systems and informatics, and (v) smart grid systems integrated with distributed energy and data systems.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date8/1/217/31/26


  • National Science Foundation: $316,000.00


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