The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants to rural small businesses. USDA chose the University of Central Florida’s FSEC to provide a limited number of subsidized building energy audits to small businesses in rural Florida communities who are eligible for the grants and loans. Audit candidates must also meet FSEC criteria, which will be determined by a phone interview.
What is a building energy audit? An energy audit is an assessment of the energy use and energy saving opportunities in a building. The business or building owners play a role in the audit by providing utility bills and getting quotes for the improvements to facilitate cost-benefit calculations. The audit report provides recommendations and calculations that help applicants complete the technical sections of the Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loan & Grant applications.
Newly updated software offers construction-industry professionals substantial time-savings while completing required energy modeling calculations for LEED® and energy code projects. A limited-time discount is available.
Commercial construction companies have a new tool to help their clients build LEED® certified buildings faster and more efficiently thanks to the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center® (FSEC®).
FSEC® released the EnergyGauge® Summit Premier 5.00 software at this year’s Greenbuild conference in New Orleans. The conference is the premier event for sustainable building in the United States and draws thousands to learn about the latest technology and techniques. FSEC’s state-of-the-art software provides construction-industry professionals with the opportunity to substantially reduce the time required to complete energy modeling for the commercial construction LEED® rating system and code compliance using ASHRAE 90.1 or IECC.
In another study of mechanical ventilation in homes, two lab homes, constructed to represent characteristics of typical existing Florida homes, were monitored. They were configured with tight and leaky building envelopes, and with and without mechanical ventilation. Simulation results of high performance new homes with mechanical ventilation, and typical older homes with and without air tightening and mechanical ventilation, were also presented.
Subrato Chandra, Ph.D., retired project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP) and one of the pioneers of the building research division of the Florida Solar Energy Center, died Jan. 12 following complications from surgery.
Subrato, who worked for FSEC for 34 years before retiring in 2010, was passionate about integrating energy efficiency into home design and, long before most people had ever heard the term photovoltaics, helped develop the concept of a PV powered house in Cape Canaveral in 1979.
One of his proudest achievements was highlighted in an email he recently sent a colleague in which several FSEC initiatives were touched upon in a listing of the most transformative homebuilding trends in the last 75 years.
Subrato’s compassion can be seen in the types of projects he championed: As director of FSEC’s research and development division in 1995 he helped the Environmental Protection Agency launch the Energy Star Homes project that has become the most widely accepted energy-efficient green homes projects in the country. The Building America project he led still works directly with Habitat for Humanity home builders throughout the country to help make housing more affordable for needy families and helps make manufactured or HUD-code homes more efficient.
Subrato led FSEC’s first major funded project in the buildings area with a $400,000 contract on passive cooling by natural ventilation received in 1981 from the Department of Energy. During his career at UCF he was involved in $14 million of funded projects. In addition to his work at FSEC, Subrato served as a faculty member in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Subrato was able to succeed because he always championed the personal relationship over the pure technical work. He communicated equally well with a housing subcontractor and a renowned scientist. And in so doing he was able to have a number of happy employees and help funding agencies achieve their goals. His loss will be felt nationwide in the building research community.
“He was a great teacher, a respected scientist, and a classy gentleman, ” said Craig V. Muccio, a colleague from Florida Power and Light who first met Subrato in a solar engineering class Subrato was teaching in 1980.
Most recently Subrato was working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a senior buildings engineer.
Subrato’s wife Mitra works in the Office of Research & Commercialization and he has two grown children.