Building Performance Lab topics -- Overview

The Building Performance Lab (BPL) at CCNY invites students to develop projects within the BPLs on-going research frameworks.  Below are three topic areas of interest to BPL staff who can serve as project mentors. Capstone teams who wish to pursue a project in these areas will have some latitude in selecting how to build on work from past capstone projects and/or fit projects into on-going BPL research.

Building Controls and Performance Monitoring.   Objective:  To explore and develop data-based approaches to the detection and diagnosis of faults in building system (HVAC) operations that can have major impacts on energy use.  Use CUNY BPL tools for working with Building Automation Systems (BAS) and/or with logger kits for data acquisition with a goal of developing analysis methods and software for on-going commissioning and re-tuning of building systems; automate data acquisition and analysis with agent-based programming (coding background required).  Knowledge of building HVAC, basic IT, and coding are strong pluses for undertaking a project in this area.

Using Building Energy Performance Data.  Objective:  To work with NYC energy data, such as benchmarking (“public disclosure”) scores, monthly and interval usage, measurement and verification (“M&V) results of retrofits, to develop insights about energy performance in various types of buildings and various drivers of energy performance; to apply these insights to considerations at urban, district (community energy systems) and individual building/building system levels. Data analysis and statistical skills strongly recommended.

Deep Energy Retrofit -- Modeling and Advanced Technology Applications.  Objective:  For a set or type of commercial buildings, use existing data, engineering and other analytical methods, and/or modeling tools to (a) comprehensively analyze the building system operational and structural characteristics that are the key drivers of energy performance; (b) research, characterize and analyze a particular building system technology; and (c) design and execute a series of parametric studies that analyze how a range of retrofits can achieve deep energy-use reductions.  Background or coordinated study in building energy modeling is strongly recommended.

Representative Building Performance Projects

Students can define a specific focus within the above research areas, or combine elements of these areas. Please see further links for examples of possible projects.  BPL staff / mentors will offer varying project suggestions based on current priorities.