Center for the Built Environment Wins Catalyst Energy Innovation Award
For immediate release
Date: January 22, 2016
David Lehrer | 510 642-4950 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: CBE's Livable Analytics team is among the seven winners chosen at the Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize Demo Day.
Berkeley—The Center for the Built Environment (CBE) was a winner at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize Demo Day held in December in Philadelphia, PA. The award was granted to CBE’s Livable Analytics team, led by David Lehrer and Lindsay T. Graham, Ph.D., who pitched their project to a panel of judges representing government, energy technology, and venture capital. The award includes funding of $100,000 to advance the work of Livable Analytics, an in-house venture, which provides a set of occupant survey tools to assess and understand occupant satisfaction and interaction within the built environment. These tools allow design teams and building operators to harness occupant insights that can lead to actionable steps, thereby improving future design strategies, building operations, and the use of energy-efficient building technologies.
The demo day award represents the culmination of a two-phase competition. In a previous phase, the Livable Analytics team submitted a five-minute video pitch to qualify for $25,000 in software development services and to compete in a prototyping competition. They then collaborated intensively with software designers and developers from Topcoder, a community-based development platform, and worked with mentors and coaches from the Catalyst program. During this process the team created new visualization tools, made critical upgrades to its database framework, and outlined plans for growth.
With the new funding from the Catalyst program, the team will further improve its software and visualization tools, expand outreach and training, develop tools for new project types, and greatly increase the number of surveys being conducted. These tools represent an expansion of CBE’s occupant survey, a unique resource that has been implemented in over 1,000 buildings around the world, with over 100,000 participants to date. Originally developed as a research tool, the survey has become widely used to gather and analyze feedback from employees in commercial buildings. This work has been done in collaboration with CBE’s Industry Partners, who support and guide the center’s research and advance the adoption of its innovations.
The Catalyst Energy Innovation program represents a new approach for government funding to accelerate innovation in the creation of commercially feasible energy efficient technologies. This program is one of many ways the Department of Energy is striving to accelerate the adoption of technologies developed in universities and laboratories.
The Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design (CED) was formed in 1997. Its mission is to improve the environmental quality and energy efficiency of commercial buildings by providing timely, unbiased information on building technologies and design and operation techniques. The center is led by Director Edward Arens and Associate Director Gail Brager.