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Zhao and Chen receive Ohio State Outreach and Engagement Award

The OSU Green Home Technology Center received a 2020 Community Engaged Program Award from The Ohio State University Office of Outreach and Engagement. The team is led by Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Professor Lingying Zhao and Associate Professor Victoria Chen.

Tour guides talk to a group inside ENCORE House's open living space.The team conducts a tour of the ENCORE House, which features many passive and active design strategies to minimize energy losses, while maximizing energy efficiency

The Community Engaged Program Award recognizes outstanding achievement by faculty, staff and/or student led programs/initiatives focused on community-university partnerships and impact.

“Our green home team has been very passionate about our collaborations with many community partners in promoting green home designs and technology applications in Ohio,” said Zhao. “This award will encourage us to seek more collaboration opportunities to promote green homes in Ohio through research, education, and outreach and engagement programs.”

Present adoption of green home design and technology faces many barriers in Ohio and around the nation, including education, training, materials, technology and professionals. This Ohio State-community-industry partnership aims to establish a Green Home Technology Center (GHTC) and to develop, demonstrate and disseminate effective green home technologies for a transformational change in residential energy consumption and environment impact.

“Our study suggests that it is imperative to fill the knowledge gap among homeowners, educate them about reasonable expectations on return on investment, and increase their awareness of non-energy benefits that could be achieved through home energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements,” said Chen. “This is why we set up the Green Home Technology Center web portal with various accessible educational materials and tools.”

The team’s website provides dynamic education on green home technologies, virtual tours of emerging green homes in Ohio and links to useful resources. They also publicized Ohio State research findings, education materials, and outreach educational programs at the online platform. Since its inception in 2016, the website has reached over 14,000 users.

Ohio State's University Outreach and Engagement Awards are presented annually to recognize faculty, staff, students and community partners for outstanding achievement in producing engaged scholarship and community impact. For the complete list of 2020 awardees, visit the University Outreach and Engagement website.

written by the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering