College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ISU CCEE research turns analytical eye to building energy efficiency (text-only)

Kristen Cetin, an assistant professor in Iowa State University’s Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department (ISU CCEE), is improving the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings.

The main focus of Cetin’s research lies in developing comprehensive tools to evaluate the energy savings and reliability of occupancy sensors for commercial and residential buildings, including determining the number of people in a building at a given time.

“Buildings consume nearly 74 percent of electricity and 40 percent of energy in the U.S. A significant amount of this consumption is due to building occupants. The results of this project will help reduce the amount of energy needed to effectively heat, cool and ventilate buildings without sacrificing occupant comfort or privacy” says Kristen Cetin.

Further steps in this project include developing the results into a testing standard that can be used by the building industry for occupancy sensor technology performance evaluation, says Cetin.

“Having such a standard will help architects, building owners and the industry overall have more confidence in the reliability and energy savings potential,” she explains.

Cetin also says that the energy savings potential of commercialized occupancy sensor technologies could lead to new buildings and retrofits of existing buildings that, in the end, will be smarter and more efficient.