Success Stories

A Welcome from Our Inaugural Advisory Board Chair

If we remember anything from our experiences during the past several years, it is that the urgency to develop new technologies and innovations to solve our world’s greatest environmental and economic challenges has never been greater.  

Increased recognition of the impacts of global climate change, combined with the need of our communities and industry for sustainable solutions, supported by an industry hungry for economic growth has made this the perfect time to establish the Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites (SIBS).  It is the perfect program coming at exactly the right time.

Clearly, many of our global energy and resource challenges can be solved through better engineered and more efficient buildings. In the U.S., buildings account for as much as 40 percent of all energy usage.  Addressing issues like this on a large scale requires the creation and adoption of new technologies only achieved through collaboration and partnerships among world class organizations.

Through SIBS, we can effectively advance the technology needs of companies seeking to minimize the impact of the buildings sector with respect to energy consumption, materials use and water management. Combining the brain-power and leading edge research of world-class universities, with funding and insight of private industry, along with support from the National Science Foundation, offers a balanced and comprehensive approach and is a testament at how business, academia and government can work together to solve our  sustainability challenges.

This first year was filled with excitement and progress.  Operationally, the center established a strong project-management style focused on accountability and designed to maximize the opportunity for success.  On the research front, the team leveraged the its extraordinary real-estate footprint, which includes over 10,000 retail banking centers, to demonstrate several leading-edge approaches for data-driven energy savings.  Several of these processes and technologies are now being evaluated as potential product and service offerings by members such as Ingersoll Rand.  The research team also staked out a role as a neutral third party capable of providing the expertise its members need to develop the business cases for adopting new technologies.  Most importantly, the value proposition is becoming realized, with members already using SIBS results to reduce their own internal research costs.  In some cases, the savings have been as much as four times the cost of the annual membership fee.  

Our mission at Ingersoll Rand is to create a world of sustainable progress and enduring results by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments for our customers. For us, Innovation often means bringing existing technologies and solution to customers in new ways and through new business models. As a company that must balance, innovation, invention and shareholder return, the opportunities presented by SIBS to leverage pre-commercial research within the industry group allows us to focus internally on our own near-term innovation goals while continuing research in high-potential future areas.  

Industry University Collaborative Research Centers such as SIBS give companies and universities the opportunity to share ideas, and develop lasting expertise and insight among the students who will be the future leaders in this area. Through the SIBS, their research and innovation will form the foundation for the next great energy saving device or future business model.

Holly Emerson
Senior Analyst
Product Stewardship, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand