AIA Fellow Deane Evans Awarded Prestigious Upjohn Research Grant
In his recently awarded proposal, Deane Evans outlines the complexity of renewable and distributed energy sources...
Friday, February 4, 2022
The AIA Upjohn Research Initiative supports applied research projects that enhance the value of design and professional practice knowledge. In his recently awarded proposal, Deane Evans outlines the complexity of renewable and distributed energy sources, the management of electricity across systems, and the potential of managing Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings to continuously optimize distributed energy resources.
“Across the US, the electricity system is evolving, driven by the continued growth of variable renewable generation and distributed energy resources (DERs), including energy efficiency, demand response, onsite generation, energy storage, and electric vehicles. As the use of these technologies continues to expand, the management of electricity within facilities – and between facilities and the electric grid – continues to become more complex. To help address this complexity, the US Department of Energy has recently launched a new RD&D initiative focused on advancing Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (“GEBs”) that envisions a future in which buildings operate dynamically with the grid and integrate and continuously optimize distributed energy resources.” Evans adds, “As architects we need to both educate ourselves about GEBs and contribute to the national conversation.”
The proposed research project is designed to analyze current GEB-related RD&D activities and identify key GEB topics that will impact architectural practice, in particular in relation to the design of buildings. Much of the work of Center for Building Knowledge, under Evans’ leadership, has focused on providing educational resources and tools to the practice. This initiative will be no different in that Evans and his team will convene a focus group of architects and GEB experts to review and discuss these topics in terms of how they impact day-to-day practice. The online tool kit that will be provided will be designed to help architects understand the practical, real-world implications of GEBs on their practices and identify pathways through which the architectural profession can effectively engage with GEB activities going forward.
The Center for Building Knowledge has a 30-year history of RD&D projects focused on improving the performance of buildings, both in terms of sustainability/energy and, more recently, in terms of resilience and climate adaptation. The CBK has undertaken multiple projects for the US Department of Energy (the key driver of the Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings initiative) including research and development studies on building technologies and systems, as well as explorations of how to develop electricity microgrids at the community scale.