Masthead top hat w/ TM for E-newsletter
November, 2009    
In This Issue...
Green Building Research Lab Comes Online, Lands $1M
RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT Making Wind Energy More Efficient
RESEARCHER PROFILE: Sergio Palleroni Greens Buildings the World Over
Oregon BEST Researchers Make Headlines in the News
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Oregon BEST
Oregon BEST Researchers

Oregon BEST in the News

Oregon BEST Green Building Research Network

Oregon BEST Solar Energy Research Network
Upcoming Events
··· December 4, 2009

This one-day conference provides a unique opportunity to hear regional thought leaders discuss cutting-edge policies, strategies, and technologies needed to guide the building industry toward American Institute of Architect's 2030 Challenge of achieving carbon neutrality. Keynote address by Bill Bradbury. 

Oregon BEST
P.O. Box 212
Portland, OR 97207
Tel. 503-725-9849

New Green Building Lab Opens!
Oregon BEST Lab Nabs $1M, Offers Opportunities to Industry

Oregon BEST Green Building Research LabWithin days of opening its doors, the new Oregon BEST Green Building Research Lab landed a $1M federal appropriation. The facility, established in part with funding from Oregon BEST, is located in a LEED Gold building at Portland State University, where lab staff collaborates with researchers at Oregon BEST's other academic partners: OSU, UO, and OIT.

The new lab is helping advance Oregon's national leadership position in green building by offering research expertise and cutting-edge lab tools to the state's green building industry and educating Oregon's building science workforce.

YouTube video image, GBRL & SailorA suite of state-of-the art equipment in the lab includes a large wind tunnel with sophisticated flow visualization capabilities, infrared thermal cameras, indoor environmental quality sensors, green roof runoff water quality assessment equipment, energy monitoring sensors, environmental chambers, a range of computer software tools, and more equipment.

"It's great to have Oregon BEST helping facilitate collaboration between the campuses and industry," says David Sailor, a PSU professor of mechanical engineering who directs the new lab. "By working together and collaborating across boundaries, we are solving bigger problems, and Oregon BEST is key to making that happen." Visit the lab. View VIDEO.

SPOTLIGHT on Oregon BEST Research

Boosting Wind Energy Efficiency
BEST Grant Leverages Funding, Creates Unique Lab Tool

Wind Turbines, Columbia RiverThe problem with harnessing energy from the wind is obvious: sometimes the wind blows, and sometimes it doesn't. So how do we store energy generated on windy days so we'll have it on calm ones? And how do we integrate the variable nature of wind energy into the regional power grid in a smart way that keeps electricity levels steady? And how do you accurately forecast when the wind will be blowing, for how long, and at what speeds?

Power companies seeking answers to these complex questions are tapping the expertise and lab facilities of Oregon BEST researchers.

Oregon State University professors Alex Yokochi, Ted Brekken, and Annette von Jouanne used a $35,000 matching grant from Oregon BEST to leverage more than $725,000 in additional funding to explore ways to make wind energy more effective. The team has created a one-of-a kind, lab-scale power grid that is being used to test storage devices and to determine how best to integrate wind power into the existing grid alongside energy from other sources.

"This is the only university-based experimental lab grid in the U.S. for testing energy storage solutions for renewables integration into the grid at this power level," Yokochi says. Read full story here.
Oregon BEST Researcher PROFILE
Greening Buildings the World Over

Sergio Palleroni's Green Building Fingerprints Reach Far

Sergio PalleroniAt 15,000 feet high in the Himalayas (in a project requested by the Dalai Lama), Oregon BEST Researcher Sergio Palleroni is helping design what is slated to be the greenest passive energy school in the world. At below sea level in New Orleans, he's helping residents recycle building materials into furniture as well as new green homes constructed to survive future storm surges. In the urban jungle of Taipai, Taiwan, he's turning an eight-lane boulevard into a "bio-swale." In Texas, he's innovated a way to add affordable green homes to already occupied city lots, providing housing and helping slow suburban sprawl.

As of September 2008, however, Palleroni calls Oregon home. Now an Oregon BEST Researcher and an architecture professor and fellow at Portland State University's Center for Sustainable Processes & Practices, he has returned to the place he calls, "one of the most beautiful natural landscapes on earth." His work is focused on helping the world adopt new green building technologies quickly, because there is little time to waste. Read full story, view a PBS video, and see more photos here.

Executive Director's Report
What Green Leaders Do...

David Kenney with Sen. MerkleyI've been on a kick lately. In my travels to Washington, DC, Greenbuild in Phoenix, and here at home, I'm encouraging our public officials to stop saying Oregon can become a leader in sustainability, green building, and renewable energy, and instead proudly acknowledge we already are. While I've known that to be the case, especially in green building and public policy, several recent encounters have cemented it.
  • Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told me they have to resist the urge to always use Portland as the example of stormwater management success stories.
  • Last week at Greenbuild, the world's largest green building conference, I met someone from another state who said, after I mentioned I was from Oregon, "You guys are light years ahead of us."
I've had plenty of other interactions that support this. So I submit we stop talking about becoming a leader and simply act like one. What do leaders do? What we're already doing, in small doses. But we need to ramp it up:
  • Share our knowledge with the world. Three Oregon BEST Member Faculty spoke at Greenbuild and other speakers included numerous Oregon green building industry leaders. We need to take advantage of more opportunities like this to be on stage at academic and industry events to share the results of our research, our green buildings case studies, and the training based on what we're learning.
  •  Lead by doing. A coalition of organizations are collaborating to create the Oregon Sustainability Center, the world's first high-rise building that would meet the Living Building Challenge: net zero energy, water, and waste. Meeting this goal will be extremely difficult, but no group is better equipped to pull it off than this Oregon coalition, which includes Oregon BEST faculty as advisors who will also help execute a research agenda using the building as a real-world laboratory. This project will be a very clear national leadership statement.
  • Repeat. Building the first or biggest LEED Platinum or Living Building is quite an accomplishment. But to make a dent in the 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions for which buildings are responsible, America needs to repeat this feat millions of times. Commercializing and scaling what our researchers and industry partners are learning will make a tremendous impact and help us help others.
There's more to it, but these are some actions that are leadership worthy. What do you think? Feel free to let me know.

   -- David Kenney, President & Executive Director
From Solar Power to Green Roofs to Wave Energy
Oregon BEST Researchers IN THE NEWS...

UO's Mark Lonergan··· FRANK VIGNOLA, director of thFrank Vignola, UOe UO's Solar Radiation Monitoring Lab, and MARK LONERGAN, director of the UO SuNRISE PV Lab, talk about a major solar cell manufacturer potentially setting up shop in Eugene at the sprawling Hynix plant. Watch the KVAL TV Video >>

John Wager, Doug Keszler, OSU··· OSU professor of chemistry DOUGLAS KESZLER and colleagues are collaborating with a company on a transistor technology that could literally change the face of building. Solar panels that use the technology could be lightweight, cheap, and attractive enough to grace façades. Read More >>

Annette von Jouanne, OSU professor··· ANNETTE VON JOUANNE, OSU professor of electrical engineering, discusses how wave energy is beginning to make significant ripples all over the world, including here in Oregon at the  Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center in Newport. Watch the NSF VIDEO >>   Read the New York Times Story >>

 Graig Spolek, PSU David Sailor, PSU ··· GRAIG SPOLEK and DAVID SAILOR, PSU mechanical engineering professors, report that industry interest in the newly opened Green Building Research Lab is growing.  Read More >>

Ted Brekken, OSUMichael Scott, OSU ··· Oregon BEST Researchers MICHAEL SCOTT and TED BREKKEN, both  faculty at OSU, were honored with CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation. Each award provides funding of at least $400,000 for a new research project with an educational and outreach component. Read More >>
Established with funding from the Oregon Legislature in 2007, the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) connects Oregon businesses with the state's shared network of university labs to transform green building and renewable energy research into on-the-ground products, services, and jobs that power Oregon's green economy. Oregon BEST's founding partner universities include Oregon State University, the Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon.

Oregon BEST · PO Box 212 · Portland, OR 97207-0212
Tel. 503-725-9849 · On the web: