Funded by a $129 million grant, the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI), a U.S. Department of Energy Energy Innovation HUB led by Penn State University, focuses on the full-spectrum retrofit of existing average-size commercial and multifamily residential buildings.
The CBEI’s staff will be headquartered at the Navy Yard in the Center for Building Energy Science, formerly Building 661, constructed in 1942 as a gymnasium. The renovation program features collaborative work areas, offices, demonstration areas, and research space. A new 25,000 square foot building, 7R, will serve as Penn State’s Philadelphia-area headquarters with classrooms, offices and a lecture hall.
The $37.5 million complex features four distinct types of HVAC systems: three in 661 to accommodate research, and one—a ground-coupled heat pump system—in 7R. The project, which is being administered by Penn State, has a LEED Gold goal. Design, construction and commissioning activities have been carried out as a research project, requiring high levels of participation, analysis and management from organizations participating in the CBEI.