The main objective of this Material Use, Science and Engineering (MUSES) project funded by the National Science Foundation is a multidisciplinary investigation of the scientific, engineering, and human factors affecting energy and water use in urban green buildings, along with associated design tradeoffs.

From the perspective of practice, the following main research question will be addressed: “Can green buildings with greater self-sufficiency in water and energy systems lower the burden on our aging infrastructure, reduce the cost of providing these utilities as communities grow, and, thereby, provide a path toward long-term solutions to resource limitations?”

Key factors in this investigation include the roles of scale, time frame, mix of uses, design integration from a whole lifecycle perspective, user response and the cultural context. Questions concerning the pursuit of self-sufficiency in water and energy systems are: how far can conservation, efficiency, loop-closing, and local supply take us today, and, looking forward, what is a useful framework for evaluating this question? Parallel questions related to energy use are: to what extent are means available to pursue sustainability, and how can we evaluate the alternatives?



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Last Updated: 09/03/2009