A UCLA research team has received a $1.3 million grant from the California Energy Commission to identify and develop new materials, methodologies and software tools for zero-net energy (ZNE) buildings. A ZNE building is a structure which uses only as much energy as it generates, requiring increased reliance on efficient design and materials, as well as renewable sources of power.
 
The 2008 California long-range energy plan calls for all new homes in the state to be ZNE by 2020. By 2030 all new nonresidential buildings must also be ZNE.
 
The goal of the UCLA project is to improve California’s building energy efficiency in a number of tangible ways, through technological advances including: the development of innovative high thermal mass adaptive building materials and the development of new software design tools to inform and guide building owners on how to achieve ZNE targets.
 
Members of the cross-campus UCLA team include Murray Milne, professor emeritus in UCLA's Department of Architecture and Urban Design; Robin Liggett, professor emeritus of urban planning; Laurent Pilon, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Gaurav Sant, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and holder of the Edward K. and Linda L. Rice Endowed Term Chair in Materials Science. The research will be part of UCLA's Grand Challenge Project "Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles," whose goal is for the Los Angeles region to use exclusively renewable energy and local water by 2050 while protecting biodiversity and enhancing quality of life.
 
For more information, visit UCLA Engineering.