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Purdue part of national team to pioneer energy-efficient buildings

September 1, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is part of a research consortium led by Pennsylvania State University to develop technologies for creating more energy-efficient buildings.

Penn State will receive $129 million over the next five years from several federal sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy, to create an "Energy Innovation Hub" at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Purdue will receive $6 million over five years for a portion of the consortium's research to be led by James Braun, a professor of mechanical engineering whose work is based at the university's Ray W. Herrick Laboratories.

The research will involve seven Purdue faculty members in mechanical, architectural and electrical engineering.

A key factor in Purdue's inclusion in the consortium is Herrick's "living laboratory," a working office wing designed with replaceable modular elements related to communications, electronic controls and equipment; moveable walls, doors and windows; a reconfigurable air distribution and lighting system; and instrumentation to monitor systems and occupants.

Research using the living lab will help engineers improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact, Braun said.

"Buildings in the United States account for about 70 percent of the country's electricity consumption," he said.

A Penn State news release is available at http://live.psu.edu/story/48016

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

Sources: James Braun, 765-494-9157, jbraun@purdue.edu

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Public Affairs, 202-586-4940

Penn State media relations, Lisa Powers, 814-865-7517, http://live.psu.edu

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