We are very excited to share that two PEWS faculty affiliates, Dr. Amanda Webb, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management, and Dr. Carlie Trott, Associate Professor in Department of Psychology, have been awarded the National Science Foundation’s grant for Strengthening America’s Infrastructure. Dr. Kuanshi Zhong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management , was also apart of the team. The Strengthening American Infrastructure program seeks to stimulate human-centered fundamental and potentially transformative research that strengthens America’s infrastructure. Dr. Webb, Dr. Trott and Dr. Zhong‘s research focuses on supporting equitable building decarbonization. By combining their backgrounds and approaching the issue from a holistic perspective, they were awarded $745,553 as part of this grant.
Approach to Decarbonization
Dr. Webb, Dr. Trott and Dr. Zhong recognize that reducing carbon emissions from homes is essential for meeting U.S. climate targets. Furthermore, reducing carbon emissions from homes can also play a critical role in reducing social inequities. In the U.S., residential buildings are responsible for 21% of energy use. Energy use places a greater burden on residents in underserved communities in Cincinnati as shown in the map above.
The grant will fund continued research that establishes a community-engaged process and integrated modeling platform for these residents to identify, plan and implement decarbonization retrofits. Dr. Webb’s background in Architectural Engineering will fuel the simulation side of the research. Where Dr. Trott’s background in Psychology will lead participatory research methods to get the community involved. A key component of this work is the projects demonstration testbed. Dr. Webb, Dr. Trott and Dr. Zhong will work with residents in single-family homes currently under renovation in Cincinnati, Ohio as primary stakeholders and co-development partners. The project aims to make building energy models easier for the public to understand and use. Dr. Webb, Dr. Trott and Dr. Zhong hope to create a replicable model for engaging the public that can be used to aid community-driven decarbonization planning in other locations.
To learn more about the award visit: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2324505&HistoricalAwards=false
D. Moore and A. L. Webb, “Evaluating energy burden at the urban scale: A spatial regression approach in Cincinnati, Ohio,” Energy Policy, vol. 160, p. 112651, Jan. 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112651.