Amy Kim: Better Global Energy Conservation

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Assistant Professor Amy Kim

Assistant Professor Amy Kim has received a Global Innovation Fund Award to address climate change by creating better energy conservation strategies for buildings and transportation systems, which currently cause more than two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions. Kim’s project encompasses a global approach, with the goal of informing greener building practices in both the United States and Indonesia, a country experiencing unprecedented growth.

“Addressing climate change requires global effort. The built environment provides significant opportunities to lower carbon dioxide production by increasing energy efficiency. Our study is an attempt to combine these two perspectives,” Kim said.

To exchange information about current green infrastructure practices, researchers from the UW Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, including CEE Ph.D. student Lysandra Medal, and Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies will work closely with University of Indonesia researchers through a series of meetings, seminars and field visits.

Discussion topics include green retrofit strategies, smart and connected cities, green building design and sustainable urban transportation. Various stakeholders will provide input, including the Green Building Council Indonesia, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Public Works, Seattle Smart Buildings Center, UW Campus Facility Services and Office of Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability. The award will fund travel between researchers at UW and the University of Indonesia starting in March 2017. One visit will be coordinated during the SustainableUW Festival, to allow University of Indonesia researchers to conduct a seminar on campus.

Encouraging sustainability practices in Indonesia is critical for a number of reasons. As the fourth most populous nation, with 250 million inhabitants, the country is Southeast Asia’s largest energy consumer, using 36 percent of the total energy. With current infrastructure that is aging and inadequate to support the growing country, Indonesia faces unique challenges in utilizing modern energy efficient infrastructure.

Based on their findings and discussions, the researchers plan to develop a generalizable solution to help facility managers and stakeholders better understand the impact of their decisions related to energy conservation strategies.

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