NSF Funds $225K Microalgae Building Enclosure Research

Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I (STTR) Grant, National Science Foundation (NSF) PI: Dr. Kyounghee-Kim, Co-PI: Dr. Chengde Wu, School of Architecture, UNC Charlotte

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is in the sustainable and economic retrofitting of low-performing older buildings toward improved economic, social and ecological impacts of built environments. More than half of all commercial buildings were constructed before the 1980s with lower energy standards. The owners and occupants of these buildings now often seek better energy management and air quality technologies. The microalgae window developed in this Phase I project is an energy-efficient, easy-to-install, adaptable modular unit for different retrofitting applications, able to compete with conventional windows due to its good air quality and renewable energy potentials. Gains in worker productivity from microalgae window retrofit are estimated to be substantial and building values at sale or rental are expected to increase significantly due to building envelope improvement.

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