Penn State, with support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, celebrated the development of two buildings at the Energy Efficient Buildings (EEB) Hub during a groundbreaking ceremony on April 24 at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.
The event celebrated the retrofitting of the 38,000-square-foot Navy Yard Building 661, renamed the Center for Building Energy Science, which will function as a living laboratory to showcase energy saving technologies; and the construction of a new, 25,200-square-foot building, to house the Center for Building Energy Education and Innovation. The buildings will facilitate public education and outreach on matters related to building efficiency, and will function as the headquarters for the EEB Hub.
“It is incredible to see how far the Navy Yard has come since the EEB Hub was established two years ago. Today, there are more than 120 companies prospering, a robust research enterprise, and a powerful education and outreach effort.”
-- Penn State President Rodney Erickson
“It is incredible to see how far the Navy Yard has come since the EEB Hub was established two years ago,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said during the celebration. “Today, there are more than 120 companies prospering, a robust research enterprise, and a powerful education and outreach effort. Just how far we have come is a testament to the many talented, visionary and dedicated people who have collaborated in unprecedented ways.”
Speakers at the event included Tom Corbett, governor of Pennsylvania; Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia; Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the DOE; Matt Erskine, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Economic Development Administration; and Henry Foley, vice president for research at Penn State and executive director of the EEB Hub.
“Pennsylvania has been leading the nation in finding new sources of energy and today marks the moment we add to our independence by finding new ways to conserve the energy we already have,’’ Corbett said. “This building will be a living laboratory where new ideas will be applied, tested and perfected.”
“Penn State was honored to be selected to lead this project, and we are applying our full arsenal of expertise in energy research, education and technology transfer to the effort,” Erickson said.
Through this work, and in collaboration with multidisciplinary partners including major research universities, global industrial firms and national laboratories, the Philadelphia region is poised to become one of the nation’s leaders in energy-efficient building technology and will serve as a model for other metropolitan areas.
“The EEB Hub vision is to design and demonstrate, in Greater Philadelphia, scalable, market-proven solutions to reduce energy use in commercial buildings and deploy these solutions throughout the nation,” Foley said. The goal, he said, is to reduce energy use in commercial buildings in Greater Philadelphia by 20 percent by 2020.
“The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub has provided significant momentum, expertise and support for the Philadelphia region’s efforts to create a more energy efficient building stock,” said Nutter. “The Hub is also focused on supporting the growth of the building technology industry in Greater Philadelphia. The Hub and the city working together can make our region a center of demonstration and deployment of these important technologies.”
The total project budget for both buildings combined is $33 million, with $30 million funded by the state and $3 million from the Economic Development Administration.
Completion of renovation and construction is expected by spring 2014. In addition to the EEB Hub, several DOE-sponsored centers will share the space; Penn State’s College of Engineering, Penn State Great Valley, Penn College and other educational institutions will offer programs at these locations, as well.