Hundreds of academic programs are focused on sustainability and energy conservation, often in abstract research and theory. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, it is seeking ways to apply research to every-day construction problems. Founded in 1824, Rensselaer was America’s first technological research university. Currently encompassing five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and more than 7,600 students Rensselaer has formed the Institute for EBESS (Energy, the Built Environment, and Smart Systems) in partnership with Siemens, Lutron Electronics, the Brooklyn Law School, the building engineering consulting firm Thornton Tomasetti, and the international architecture firms HKS, OBMI, and Perkins&Will.
Based in New York City, EBESS will focus on re-envisioning and designing integrated building environments for human well-being and sustainability. Employing advanced technological solutions to decarbonize urban environments at the systems level and modeling integrated transportation, communications, and supply chain networks, the partnership recognizes that an integrative approach is required to decarbonize the many interconnected systems of our daily lives.
Fusing architectural design and engineering, EBESS creates sustainable infrastructure that is both net-zero and climate resilient through renewable energy systems, sentient building platforms, and new materials. The new institute will integrate research across centers and schools at Rensselaer, including the CASE (Center for Architecture Science and Ecology) and the LESA (Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications) Center.
For over a decade, the Center of Architecture, Science and Ecology has driven innovation in architecture and the built environment through a unique collaboration among academic faculty and students, research teams, and professional firms. CASE technology programs study the interplay between building and information systems across all phases and scales of building, drawing on generative design and simulation, automated information and material production, artificial intelligence, internet of things and smart building technologies.