Article: Launch of Purdue Center for High Performance Buildings

Article: Launch of Purdue Center for High Performance Buildings

Author: James E. Braun
Event Date: January 14, 2016
Priority: No

In preparation for the official launch of the Purdue Center for High Performance Buildings (CHPB) on January 1, the first CHPB members meeting was held on afternoon of Nov. 4th and morning of Nov. 5th at the Herrick Labs.  The primary goals of this first meeting were to solidify the management processes and determine the research agenda for 2016.   As of this writing, the following fourteen (14) companies have joined the CHPB for 2016 and participated in research project selection:

2016 CHPB Member Companies

1.   Bristol Compressors International, Inc.  2.   Danfoss
3.   Duke Energy 4.   Emerson Climate Technologies
5.   Field Diagnostic Services, Inc. 6.   Honeywell International Inc.
7.   Johnson Controls, Inc. 8.   Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL)
9.   Kawneer Company, Inc. 10. Lennox International Inc.
11. Regal Beloit Corporation 12. Siemens AG
13. UTC Carrier Corporation 14. Whirlpool        

Our philosophy in managing the CHPB is to intimately involve member companies in planning and executing research projects.  Prior to project selection, faculty, students, and postdocs provided overviews of the project proposals and answered questions from member companies.  In addition, there was a poster session covering all aspects of research activities related to buildings by faculty associated with the CHPB and a brainstorming session for generating future research directions for the CHPB.  In a closed-door meeting, the following thirteen (13) CHPB research projects were selected by member companies for 2016.

2016 Research Projects

  1. Development of Self‐Tuned Indoor Environments
  2. Investigation of Chemical Looping for High Efficiency Heat Pumping
  3. Development of General Purpose Simulation Tools for Positive Displacement Compressors
  4. Evaluating the Benefits across the U.S. of Variable-Speed Equipment for Packaged Rooftop Units (RTUs)
  5. Optimizing Seasonal Cooling and Heating Performance of Unitary Heat Pumps using Variable Speed Compressors and Fans
  6. A Sequential Approach for Achieving Separate Sensible and Latent Cooling
  7. High Performance, Multi-Functional Building Envelopes Integrated with Lighting and Thermal Systems operation
  8. Assessment of Alternative Technologies for Sustainable Housing Developments
  9. An Inverse Modeling Toolbox for Buildings
  10. Further Development of Fast Fluid Dynamics for Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort Study and Control
  11. Development of a simulation model predicting efficiency gains for residential appliances utilizing thermal integration
  12. National/Regional Assessments of Demand Response Potential in Small Commercial Buildings
  13. Automation and Demonstration of an RTU Coordinator in Small/Medium-sized Commercial Buildings

These projects represent the broad cross-section of the interests within the CHPB company and faculty members.   Faculty are participating in the CHPB from Departments of Mechanical, Civil/Architectural, and Electrical Engineering along with Psychological Sciences.   The companies include manufacturers of HVAC components/equipment and building envelope systems, controls companies, a large utility, and a large commercial building facility management company.   In addition to selecting the projects, companies formed project monitoring sub-committees (PMS) that will meet with the research teams on a regular basis in order to track progress and provide guidance.

By next year, we hope to expand the CHPB company membership to twenty-five (25) and plan on having a workshop for interested companies at the end of April, 2016.   A broad cross section of expertise, interests and testbeds associated with the CHPB will allow us to tackle complex research projects that involve the integration of advanced technologies within building systems.  This is a truly unique feature of the CHPB compared to other existing centers focused on building-related research.

If you would like to learn more, then contact Jim Braun (  You can also visit the website ( to get the latest information on the current activities and future workshops.  We are excited about the launch of the CHPB and think this will significantly expand our research related to buildings.