Grant Aids Net-Zero Goal

Kellog House Photo By Cecilia Denhard '15

Kellog House
Photo By Cecilia Denhard ’15

A $161,260 grant from the National Science Foundation will help Williams monitor energy usage in its new environmental center and use the data to implement standards that will help it to meet the Living Building Challenge (LBC).

Computer science professor Jeannie Albrecht and Sarah Abramson ’15, Pamela Mishkin ’16, and Abbie Zimmermann-Niefield ’15 are determining the best sensors to install in Kellogg House, currently under renovation. The sensors will allow them to monitor energy usage in the building and develop models to predict real-time energy consumption. The group is developing ways to present their data to building occupants.

The goal of the LBC is net-zero energy usage. The environmental center must produce as much or more energy than it consumes, one of the requirements set forth by the International Living Future Institute. The building must achieve high performance standards for a year before meeting the challenge, including generating electricity from solar or other carbon-free resources and capturing and treating water on site. If the center, whose main structure was built in 1794, meets the requirements, it will be the first historic building in the country to do so.