Method of measuring buildings' energy
consumption developed by Haberl, Culp
and fellow researchers wins U.S. patent


Two professors at Texas A&M's College of Architecture are part of a team that earned a U.S. patent for developing a new way of determining current and future energy consumption of various types of buildings.

Jeff Haberl, professor of architecture and associate department head for research at the Texas Engineering Experiment Station's Energy Systems Laboratory, and Charles Culp, associate professor of architecture, joined fellow TEES researchers David Claridge and William Turner in inventing U.S. Patent No. 7,552,033 B1 — “System and Method for Diagnostically Evaluating Energy Consumption Systems and Components of a Facility.”

Their unique evaluation technique involves creating an energy consumption model from data detailing a facility's energy consumption and data associated with the facility, such as its size, as well as variable data associated with the facility, such as its outside temperatures.

The team's invention provides advantages over other systems in several areas:

  • generating actual and expected energy consumption models for a facility;
  • diagnostically evaluating energy consumption systems and components of the systems;
  • providing for remote assessment of a facility, and by
  • determining modifications to operating parameters of existing facility energy consumption systems and components to increase energy usage efficiency.

The system, said its creators, solves the problem of determining the energy usage associated with different types of facilities, for example, a home and a hospital, which usually vary to a large degree.

"Energy consumption systems and components associated with homes are different," the researchers stated in the patent, "than the energy consumption systems and components associated with an office building or hospital, and generally use less energy per unit of conditioned area than the systems and components of an office building or hospital."

A diagnostic evaluation of the energy consumption of the facility, using the data from its consumption models for current and projected use, is also possible.

Haberl, Culp and their team members were recognized by the Texas A&M University System's Office of Technology Commercialization during its annual Patent and Innovation Awards luncheon in April along with other researchers, who earned 10 patents and protections for five plant varieties from the U.S. government in 2009.

The Texas Engineering Experiment Station is the state's engineering research agency, partnering with industries, communities and academic institutions to solve problems to help improve the quality of life, promote economic development and enhance the educational systems of Texas.


- Posted: June 10, 2010 -

- the end -


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