0968995 University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Helene Hilger 0968929 Carnegie-Mellon University; Volker Hartkopf 0968975 Appalachian State University; Jeffrey Ramsdell

The Center for Sustainable and Integrated Buildings and Sites (SIBS) will focus on a joint industry and university research on integrated building design and site development. The proposed Center includes the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte NC) as the lead institution, with research sites at Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU, Pittsburgh, PA), and Appalachian State University (ASU, Boone, NC).

The primary goals of this planning project are to initiate formal partnership with various industry partners and government/non-governmental agencies that have an interest in creating a more sustainable built environment. The research themes at the proposed IUCRC are aimed at the industry need to respond to regulatory and public demands for minimizing virgin material use, water use, non-renewable energy use, and waste generation, and also at the societal need to protect the natural systems that support human life. The proposed Center offers the integrated expertise of architecture, building science, site design and natural system science. Each site director comes from already existing university centers, so that while sharing expertise through SIBS, the PIs can leverage existing university support from their respective sites. The proposed Center will accelerate the rate at which performance-tested, environmentally sound, and more sustainable buildings and site features are routinely employed in new and existing buildings.

The proposed IUCRC will increase the research capabilities and competitiveness of the building industry. In addition to broad economic implications, the work of the Center will have impacts on U.S. efforts to meet climate change targets, and the critical societal need to sustain natural capital reserves and maintain the integrity of ecosystem services. Students engaged in SIBS research will be leaders in the cadres of new architects and engineers to shape the future built environment. The Center plans to include student opportunities for site and international exchanges, programmatic professional development and cross-mentoring programs, and a shared core course on the life cycle relationships between buildings and natural systems. The PIs also plan to collaborate with several community colleges in North Carolina and two historically Black institutions in Charlotte and Greensboro.

Project Report

Appalachian State University, along with our university partners the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Carnegie Mellon University, and City College of New York, was funded by the National Science Foundation to plan our proposed Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) - The Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites Center (SIBS). The primary task completed under this grant was the Planning Workshop for I/UCRC - SIBS, which was held in Charlotte on December 2-3, 2010. Participants in the workshop included our university partners, NSF representatives, guest speakers, and many industry representatives. The workshop was a success in introducing potential industry partners to the mission of our proposed center and the benefits to involvement. Work on recruiting industry partners has continued since the workshop and several important collaborations have been initiated. The SIBS Center will offer industry partners research at a variety of scales – from individual building components to complex residential, commercial, and industrial developments. The Universities' collective areas of expertise include: high performance building design, building science, renewable energy, materials science, construction and demolition material reuse, low impact site design and storm water management, ecological engineering, remote real time sensors and data logging, attitude and belief systems, and business management. The SIBS center concept is a creative mechanism to provide strategic guidance, targeted innovation, and rapid, systematic, continuous, socially responsible and cost-effective project improvements to grow and support a major industry group that has enormous impacts on the natural systems that protect human life. The center will not only increase and enhance the scientific information available to industry, but will also provide a significant training opportunity for future employees through graduate education associated with the operation of I/UCRC - SIBS.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
Program Officer
Rathindra DasGupta
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Appalachian State University
United States
Zip Code