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Ecological Economics Events Calendar

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Exploring Relationships Between Building and Transportation Energy Use of Residents in U.S. Metropolitan Areas by Timothy Pede

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: 107 Farrell Hall
Description: Seminar


Master’s Defense

Exploring relationships between building and transportation

energy use of residents in U.S. metropolitan areas


Timothy Pede

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Seminar: 10:30am, 107 Farrell Hall

Defense: 11:30am, 107 Farrell Hall


Brian Lee, Assistant Professor, RSENR, Advisor

Austin Troy, Adjunct Faculty, Co-Advisor

Brian Voigt, Faculty, RSENR

Asim Zia, Assistant Professor, CDAE, Chair


There is much potential to decrease energy consumption in the U.S. by focusing on where people live. Although many studies have examined the extent to which built environment and demographic factors are related to household energy consumption, few have considered both building and transportation energy together.

We hypothesized that residents further from city-centers in metropolitan regions are less energy efficient and there is a positive relation between building and transportation uses. This hypothesis was tested with two sets of analyses. The first focused on New York City. Annual building energy for multi-family structures, calculated by dividing total building energy by the number of units, was compared to the average daily transportation energy use per household in traffic analysis zones (estimated with a regional travel demand model). Transportation energy showed a strong spatial pattern, with distance to urban core explaining 85% of variation in is. Portion of single family units for TAZs was also correlated with transportation energy.

For the second analysis, annual building and automobile energy use per household was estimated across the 50 most populous U.S. metropolitan regions with consumer expenditure data. Both forms of energy use were lowest for households located in inner-cities, and increased at greater distances from urban cores. Although there may be some error in our energy estimates, known determines of energy use, were significantly related to distance to urban core. Overall, this work suggests households furthest from city centers use the most building and transportation energy, and should be the target of efficiency measures.

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