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Carnegie Mellon Intelligent Workplace Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Dec. 11-12


PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University’s Advanced Building Systems Integration Consortium (ABSIC) celebrates its 20th anniversary and the Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace (IW) celebrates its 10th anniversary with a conference Dec. 11-12. The two-day conference will focus on the future of energy generation and the built environment, with a special emphasis on energy conservation, renewable energy and its impact on health and productivity. The conference is being held in Phipps Conservatory Dec. 11 and at the IW Dec. 12.

“Both ABSIC and the IW have received support from more than 70 companies and governmental agencies worldwide,” said Architecture Professor Volker Hartkopf. “The IW has proven to be a phenomenal change agent, spawning energy and environmentally effective buildings globally in China, Korea, France, Germany and in North America. The IW continues to be an inspiration for our students as well.”

Formed in 1987, the ABSIC is the first private-public partnership in the building industry that brings together academia, industry and government to address the enormous impact buildings have on the environment. In fact, buildings are responsible for up to 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the IW Web site. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and other organizations team with industry and government to ensure that their research is put into practice and that models like the IW, a “living laboratory,” can be realized.

ABSIC’s members include the U.S. departments of energy and defense, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Electricite de France and LTG Aktiengesellschaft, among others. The IW, an office space atop Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall on Carnegie Mellon’s campus, is a working model of green building technology that is constantly being updated with new technological developments. The IW shows ABSIC’s emphasis on economic feasibility and also that green living can be comfortable.

A project of the IW, Building as a Power Plant, will be discussed at the conference. The proposed project is a six-story, 65,000-square-foot building that will power itself through a variety of methods and renewable energy sources.

To listen to Hartkopf explain ABSIC, the IW and the impact the building industry has on the environment, visit


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