This open-ended, problem is “How to achieve a net zero energy-efficient building (a building that produces as much electrical power as it consumes).” There are many old (and newer), energy inefficient buildings that need upgrading, but due to code and regulations restraints there are no feasible, cost-effective solutions to achieve “net zero.” Therefore, this technically and socially-complex problem demands a viable solution in order to have a long-term impact on energy conservation worldwide.
The objective is to conduct an energy audit and analyze a building in the City of Chicago, working with the sponsors, and propose cost-effective solutions for achieving a “net-zero” building. This IPRO team will also support the 2018 National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Green, and Energy Competition, with Illinois Tech competing later in 2018 against 30 other universities that have student NECA chapters. The national Green Energy Challenge will be held in October in Philadelphia, PA and select members of this IPRO team may be invited to participate.
This IPRO team will work with multiple sponsors including the City of Chicago Bureau of Energy Management (Director, Mandy LaBrier), and the Illinois Green Alliance (Director, Joan Martin), IIT Office of Energy and Sustainability (OCES), and the Electrical Contractors’ Association of City of Chicago (ECA) (Manager Tim Taylor). We will select a building in Chicago, conduct the energy audit (working with the sponsors) and propose a net zero plan that offers a feasible, viable Return on Investment (ROI) and offers a green, energy- and environmentally-efficient solution.
This is an on-going IPRO project, with students involved in the IPRO for credit as well as working through the IIT NECA Student Chapter. This IPRO experience includes extensive teamwork, logical reasoning and skillful project management to propose viable solutions to improve complex, energy-inefficient buildings. The students may also participate in green energy presentations and site visits with sponsors, as well as conduct a detailed energy audit using an energy software program and write the final proposal.