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IWESS, the Intelligent Workplace Energy Supply System, is an integrated set of components that uses solar thermal energy and a renewable liquid fuel to provide power, cooling, heating, and ventilation for Carnegie Mellon’s Intelligent Workplace, the IW, and its occupants. Graduate students and faculty in the School of Architecture’s Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics have been involved with selecting, installing, testing, and evaluating these components and with integrating their operation both with the IW and with the campus power, steam, and chilled water grids.

The objective of the IWESS is to provide a healthy, productive, and comfortable environment for the occupants of the IW and to reduce the primary energy requirements for operating the space by a factor approaching 2.  The knowledge gained in this IWESS effort will improve the design of equipment, of systems, and of their operation to reduce the energy consumed by buildings in the U. S., currently 40% of the total consumption of primary energy.