BUILDINGS

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.

Research Team

Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE

DIRECTOR, URBAN INTELLIGENCE LAB; Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics; CUSP Deputy Director for Academics; Head, Quantified Community

Bartosz Bonczak

Associate Research Scientist

Awais Malik

Ph.D Candidate, Civil & Urban Engineering (NYU Tandon) and NYU CUSP

awais.malik@nyu.edu
646.997.0544

Sokratis Papadopoulos

PhD Candidate

Yuan Lai

Ph.D. Candidate

yuan.lai@nyu.edu
646.997.0612

Xinshi Zheng

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

Ian Stuart

Graduate Research Assistant, Building Informatics

Raka Dey

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ian Wright

Graduate Research Assistant

Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE

DIRECTOR, URBAN INTELLIGENCE LAB; Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics; CUSP Deputy Director for Academics; Head, Quantified Community

ckontokosta@nyu.edu

Prof. Kontokosta brings training urban planning, data science, economics, and systems engineering to the data-driven study of cities.

Professor Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE, is an Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) at New York University, is the Director of the Urban Intelligence Lab, and is the Deputy Director for Academics at CUSP. He holds a faculty appointment as Visiting Professor of Computer Science at the University of Warwick, and is affiliated faculty at the Marron Institute for Urban Management. He is also the Principal Investigator and Head of the CUSP Quantified Community research facility, a groundbreaking project underway at three districts in New York City – at the Hudson Yards development in New York City; in Lower Manhattan; and in Red Hook, Brooklyn – that is building sensor-enabled urban neighborhoods to study the impact of the built environment on well-being and human behavior. As one of the first faculty to join CUSP, Constantine is part of the CUSP founding leadership team, setting the Center’s strategic priorities and leading the design and implementation of its academic programs in urban data science, growing from just two to over 50 faculty and staff and 100 graduate students in three years. He serves as Faculty Engineer-in-Residence at the NYU Tech Incubators, where he mentors cleantech and smart city start-up companies from early stage idea refinement to technology demonstration and deployment. He is a 2017 recipient of the NSF CAREER award for his research in urban informatics for smart, sustainable cities.

Dr. Kontokosta‘s research lies at the intersection or urban planning, data science, and systems engineering, focusing on using big data and new sensing technologies to better understand the dynamics of physical, environmental, and social systems in the urban environment. His work has been published in leading academic journals in fields including science, economics, urban policy and planning, and engineering, and has two forthcoming books, one on data-driven city operations and planning and the other on the subject of big data and urban sustainability. He collaborates with numerous city agencies in the U.S. and internationally on issues of urban sustainability and resilience policy and planning and city operations, including a multi-year effort to lead data analysis on building energy efficiency with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Dr. Kontokosta’s work has been featured in the Wall Street JournalNew York TimesCNN, NPR, Fast CompanyCityLab, Bloomberg NewsFinancial Times, APS Physics, and ASCE’s Civil Engineering Magazine, among other national and international media outlets.

Dr. Kontokosta holds a Ph.D., M.Phil, and M.S. in Urban Planning, specializing in urban economics and econometrics, from Columbia University, a M.S. in Real Estate Finance from New York University, and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering Systems from the University of Pennsylvania. He has received research funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Siemens Corp., CBRE Group, Inc., Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others. Kontokosta has won the IBM Faculty Award, the Google IoT Research Award, and NYU’s Award for Teaching Excellence. He is also a recipient of the C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Award, the Columbia GSAS Dissertation Award, the Charles Abrams Award for Research in Social Justice, the Best Paper Award at the Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange in 2015, and has been named a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Urban Planning.

Dr. Kontokosta is a licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional, and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  In addition, he has served on the NYC Mayor’s 80×50 Task Force, as Vice Chair of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, and on the Boards of the UNEP SBCI and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He is an accomplished real estate entrepreneur, and, together with his brother, Michael Kontokosta, designed, built, and owns Kontokosta Winery, the Harborfront Inn, and Cove Place Inn, all on the North Fork of Long Island, as well as additional properties in New York City and the East End. He has also designed and received environmental approval for more than 150 units of affordable housing.

Recent Projects

Energy Cost Burdens and Housing Affordability for Low-Income Households

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Analyzing the Impacts of Urban Land Use Dynamics

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Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

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Data Quality and Reliability Metrics for Building Energy Disclosure Data

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CommunitySense

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Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

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Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

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Recent Publications

Bartosz Bonczak

Associate Research Scientist

bartosz.bonczak@nyu.edu
646.997.0530

Bartosz Bonczak is an Associate Research Scientist at CUSP working with Quantified Community and Building Informatics teams.

In his research, he applies data-driven approaches to improve building energy efficiency and the analysis of urban topogrpahy.

Bartosz received M.S. in Urban Informatics from CUSP (2015) and completed a B.S. (2009) and a M.S. (2011) in Geography with the focus on tourism at University of Lodz in his home country of Poland. Prior to joining CUSP he was Assistant Research Scientist at the Department of Geographical Sciences at University of Lodz.

Recent Projects

Energy Cost Burdens and Housing Affordability for Low-Income Households

View Project

Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

View Project

Data Quality and Reliability Metrics for Building Energy Disclosure Data

View Project

CommunitySense

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Awais Malik

Ph.D Candidate, Civil & Urban Engineering (NYU Tandon) and NYU CUSP

awais.malik@nyu.edu
646.997.0544

Awais Malik is a Ph.D. Candidate in Civil and Urban Engineering at NYU Tandon and a Research Assistant at NYU CUSP.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2013 with an A.B. in Engineering Sciences with Honors and a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering. He was a member of Dartmouth’s $300 House Initiative, and received the Dean of Faculty grant to design and test affordable housing solutions for Haiti. Awais joined CUSP’s inaugural class of graduate students in 2013, and was one of the first research assistants at the Kontokosta Research Group. Awais received a Master of Science in Applied Urban Science and Informatics from CUSP in 2014. For the past two years, he has worked on forming a unified, multi-factor index of resilience capacity for New York City neighborhoods: the Resilience to Emergencies and Disasters Index (REDI). Awais’ current research focuses on understanding urban resilience by measuring near real-time neighborhood activity.

Recent Projects

CommunitySense

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Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Sokratis Papadopoulos

PhD Candidate

sokratis.papadopoulos@nyu.edu
646.705.3295

Sokratis is a PhD candidate in Civil and Urban Engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering and NYU CUSP.

He holds an MSc in Engineering Systems and Management from Masdar Institute, UAE (2015). His research interests lie between applied data science and optimization of building energy performance, with an emphasis on human actions.

Recent Projects

Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Yuan Lai

Ph.D. Candidate

yuan.lai@nyu.edu
646.997.0612

Yuan Lai is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Systems in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and CUSP.

Yuan Lai is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Systems at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. His research focuses on urban informatics and data-driven city development. He holds a M.S. in Urban Informatics from NYU CUSP and a M.S. in Urban Planning, specializing in urban design and GIS, from State University of New York at Buffalo. Prior to joining CUSP, he practiced as an architect with Moshe Safdie on large-scale building design and master planning projects. He is an Accredited Professional of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design specialized in neighborhood development.

 

Recent Projects

Analyzing the Impacts of Urban Land Use Dynamics

View Project

Recent Publications

Xinshi Zheng

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

xz1845@nyu.edu

Xinshi is a Master student and a Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow in the Urban Intelligence Lab.

He holds a M.S. in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015), and a B.Eng in Architectural Environment Engineering from University of Nottingham, UK (2013). His research interests include developing data science applications for urban infrastructure planning and optimization, as well as geospatial analysis.

Recent Projects

Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

View Project

Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Ian Stuart

Graduate Research Assistant, Building Informatics

is1480@nyu.edu

Ian is currently pursuing a MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics from NYU CUSP.

His primary research interests involve the application of data analysis to urban sustainability challenges and resource efficiency. He is also studying the potential for emerging, data-intensive technologies to bring about drastic change in urban systems like transportation, housing, and energy.

Ian’s experience includes work in urban design, environmental consulting, and civic technology. HIs study of cities began with a BA in Urban Studies from Stanford University. He also holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke.

Recent Publications

Raka Dey

Undergraduate Research Assistant

raka.dey@nyu.edu

Raka Dey is a rising senior at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering currently pursuing her BS in Sustainable Urban Environments. She is at CUSP for the summer doing research on the Qualified at Hudson Yards project. Aside from engineering, she has focused her studies on architecture, public policy, and urban planning. Through her research here, she hopes not only to gain skills in data science, but also combine her various academic interests. Raka will continue her research on this project during the school year through her Smart Cities class.

Recent Publications

Ian Wright

Graduate Research Assistant

iw453@nyu.edu

Ian's research and career interests are in next-gen power grids, microgrids, energy storage technologies, and renewables in the urban environment.

Ian received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2011) from the University of Alberta, Canada, and is currently working towards an M.S. at NYU’s CUSP. Previously, he worked as a design engineer at an architectural firm, Dialog, designing building systems and modelling energy usage in buildings. Most recently he transitioned to the technology sector as a data analyst and strategist at a Vancouver company called Hootsuite.

Recent Projects

Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Recent Projects

Recent Publications