ClimateWire explains that a construction project at the Philadelphia Navy Yard is a federally funded test case for the future of energy-efficient building design.
Currently, the hub team is outlining its plan of attack. Architects, engineers, contractors and businesspeople are using computer models to figure out where the lights, insulation, furnaces, solar panels and other systems should go. The goal is to make these systems work better together, cutting the building's energy use by half relative to a comparable office building.
GPIC expects to settle on a design in the next six months or so, and then the sledgehammers and buzz saws arrive. Over the next year and a half, Building 661 will be gutted and renovated.
If all goes well, GPIC will make the building its headquarters, a place to continue its research and a "living lab" for green-building skeptics to visit. In 2015, when the hub's first award of federal cash runs out, GPIC will have to convince Congress it's worthy of another five-year endowment; if Congress says no, GPIC will have to find another cash source or scale back its ambitions.
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