At the intersection of building performance and human behavior.

We use diverse data to better understand urban energy dynamics and develop data-driven policies to support long-term sustainability goals.

Driving energy and GHG emission reductions in cities.

The reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the urban built environment has emerged as one of the primary grand challenges facing society in the 21st century. For instance, New York City has established an aggressive mandate to reduce GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 80% by 2050. Other cities in the U.S. and internationally have adopted similar goals, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Austin, London, and Tokyo.

To achieve these goals, new data-driven methodologies are needed to identify and target efficiency opportunities in the built environment at the building, neighborhood, and city-scale. Professor Kontokosta and the Urban Intelligence Lab are developing innovative analytical approaches combining data science, social science, engineering, and urban planning to harness and interpret this “data deluge” coming from cities across the U.S. and internationally, with the aim of advancing the sustainability and resilience of buildings in a way that is efficient, scalable, and rapidly deployable. The ultimate goal of this work is to improve the understanding of energy, water, and waste flows; occupant productivity and health measures; and the relationship of buildings to urban infrastructure, the natural environment, and the social and economic realities and disparities of the city.

Current and recent project descriptions are available below.


Energy Benchmarking and Building Performance

Our work is bringing new insight to city energy policy and planning by connecting data science, engineering, urban planning, and behavioral economics.

The Building Data Repository (BDR)

This comprehensive, continually updated database of building data covers physical, zoning, lot, design, energy use, water use, GHG emissions, use, occupancy, occupant type, and systems data for more than 40 cities across 15 countries, drawn from public and private sector records.

The Green Building Regulation Database (GBRD)

The GBRD includes data for 200 cities on green building incentives and regulations, green building market share, and economic, political, social, and infrastructure characteristics.

The Resilience to Emergencies and Disasters Index Database (REDI)

The REDI Database consists of neighborhood-level risk and resilience indicators across social, environmental, economic, and infrastructure systems.

Recent Projects

Recent Publications