“The goal is to identify a ‘game-changing’ demonstration project, characterized by extreme energy and sustainability best practices, that is large enough to impact multi-family housing production worldwide and provide a research/industry/academic platform and process that is scalable and repeatable”
Major goals that SHI has set for itself are:
1. The SHI is in the process of scaling up the lessons learned from the last 2 years of research and engagement; particularly the synergistic aspects of integrated design and sustainable design, and the value of a ‘feedback-loop’ system around energy for a ‘repeat client’ like Penn State.
2. Currently, the initiative is working on market analysis to develop a set of energy-related metrics (EUI etc.) that can be considered as practical but ‘extreme energy’ standards, with the objective of:
a. Making a ‘quantifiable’ case for a re-look at Penn State’s current financing model for residence halls from that of a short-term outlook (similar to a developer) to a new model that has a long-term vision by factoring in building operations energy (similar to that of a ‘develop-and-hold’ type of client); and
b. Investigating if a similar argument can be made at a federal level to improve the standards for energy rebate programs to encourage the development of higher-performance buildings.
3. Continue community outreach activities by disseminating layperson-accessible information on the benefits of environmental sustainability through mixed media hosted on the SHI’s website.
4. Develop an online data visualization platform that will aggregate metrics from leading developers that will serve as a database and a tool through which the current and future state of the housing industry – in terms of materials, costs, systems, energy etc. – can be better understood.
It is anticipated that the SHI will transition to a think-tank advocating energy policy change in federal as well as private sector contexts impacting the residential building environment, and would be self-sufficient through other grants and by providing housing energy-related services at Penn State.