University of Maryland – new collaborative research center

The University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, along with the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, is forming a collaborative research center focused on Sustainability in the Built Environment. The purpose of the SBE Cluster is to strengthen the collective research capacity and potential for external funding in the areas of energy, environment and water resources associated with buildings, building technologies, and the built environment. This proposal builds upon the University’s land grant status; emerging faculty interests; global recognition that buildings must be integrated with their environments to achieve sustainability; and the interdisciplinary research, teaching and collaboration that designed, engineered and constructed the winning WaterShed Solar Decathlon entry of 2011.  The three primary colleges that designed the Solar Decathlon house – Agriculture, Architecture, and Engineering — will increase their level of collaboration by hiring four new faculty who will join with existing faculty members to work together towards significant grants and research leading to discovery and innovation that enhances the sustainability of the built environment. The international success of WaterShed demonstrated our strength in this area and proved that real integration of the talents in multiple disciplines is one of the best ways to promote success. The SBE Cluster builds on existing capacity to create new synergy that heightens the position and visibility of the University as a leader in innovative environmental design that is effective, beautiful, and sustainable.