MIT Net-Zero Growth

Sustainable Urban Design

In response to the new Net Zero Carbon Ordinance in the City of Cambridge, MIT asked us to develop net-zero strategy to expand its campus so it can accommodate growing undergraduate population without additional environmental cost. We worked with MIT's Director of Sustainability and Manager of Sustainable Engineering and Utility Planning to develop energy and daylighting concepts for the new development in Kendall Square, an up-and-coming technology hub next to campus. Our approach focuses on targeting net-zero carbon by reducing energy consumption through retrofitting existing buildings rather than by renewable energy installations, to provide a more cost and resource effective solution. We were able to develop a strategy to save 6.2% of annual energy savings accounting for climate change by year 2050, and we plan to continue our collaboration with MIT to improve MIT's sustainability.

Through our case study of MIT campus, we were able to develop a scalable and flexible methodology for modeling future urban growth scenarios. Our approach can be applied for neighborhoods of various sizes and locations using retrofit strategies appropriate for their climates. The model allows urban planners to forecast the effects of changing weather patterns and various retrofits on the neighborhood’s energy consumption despite the limited data availability often encountered.

My roleI focused on running and evaluating energy simulations alongside the architect and urban designer on the team to develop building and urban design concepts. I created the poster and video for the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Awards competition, while another team member created the poster for the MIT Energy Initiative Symposium.

4.433 Modeling Urban Energy Flow | 2014
MIT Architecture
Instructor: Christoph Reinhart

Collaborators Denis Rivas, Manos Saratsis, Julia Sokol

Awards Finalist for the Department of Energy Clean Energy Education & Empowerment National Poster Competition
Presented at MIT Energy Initiative Symposium
Presented to the board of MIT Campus Energy Task Force

Our Vision

Net-zero carbon growth in Kendall Square via energy efficiency on existing campus

Typology Development

We developed four different typologies to accommodate MIT's desire to build dorms, labs, and office spaces.

Architectural Concept for Academic and Commercial Typology

Daylighting analysis: daylighting is benefited by our choice of site that is not surrounded by many tall buildings.

Poster Focusing on Our New Methodology for Sustainable Urban

Presented at the Department of Energy Clean Energy Education & Empowerment National Poster Competition

Poster Focusing on the MIT Case Study

Presented at MIT Energy Initiative Symposium

Energy Efficiency + Clean Energy Strategies Recommendations

A mix of retrofit and clean energy strategies are proposed to support the net-zero growth in Kendall Square.

Retrofit strategies over the next 35 years

Recommended clean energy portfolio