BUILDINGS and their taken-for-granted amenities—heating, cooling, lighting—account for 40 percent of total energy consumption in the United States. Reducing this massive carbon footprint through smart architecture, engineering, and use of materials is what the University's new Green Building Research Laboratory is about.
The new lab allows faculty researchers from around the state to comprehensively analyze green buildings. This includes extensive study of buildings' energy use and conservation, air and environmental quality, building material performance, and storm water runoff.
The lab is a signature research facility of the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center, an independent nonprofit established by the Oregon Legislature in 2007 to grow the state's reputation as a national innovator in sustainability, natural resources, and renewable energy.
Run by David Sailor, professor of mechanical and materials engineering, the lab incorporates faculty from PSU's engineering departments as well as Architecture, Urban Studies and Planning, and programs throughout the Oregon University System. The facility also supports the region's booming green building industry through applied research projects and gives students hands-on experience with new and innovative building technology.