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EPA Awards Focus on Sustainable Tech

Monday, February 22, 2016

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Federal environmental authorities are investing in green building technologies and other innovative ideas developed by 38 student teams from around the country.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant competition Tuesday (Feb. 16).

UC Riverside
Amerique / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

A student team from University of California, Riverside, is among the 38 grant winners in EPA's P3 program. The team is focused on developing innovative building materials out of rice husks.

The program supports university student teams that propose projects to develop new, sustainable products and strategies. As a Phase I grant recipient, each winning team will receive up to $15,000 for its proposal, EPA said.

Building Materials, Concrete Tech Funded

This year’s grant recipients include a team from the University of California, Riverside, whose “Husk-to-Home” project has a mission to create a proof of concept building material, composed of rice husks and an innovative binding material, to construct durable homes in the Philippines.

parking garage
© / pezography

One of the research projects is aimed at developing a new sustainable concrete for commercial and industrial settings.

Manhattan College also received a grant for a project aimed at determining the efficacy of a new sustainable concrete to alleviate corrosion of steel reinforcement in the presence of chloride.

The sustainable concrete will utilize the mining and milling waste product “chat” as a mineral additive and/or aggregate with positive environmental effects, according to a project description.

Teams from Auburn University, the University of Hawaii, the University of California at Davis, the University of Central Florida and Cornell University also received funding as part of the program. A complete list of grant recipients is available here.

Sustainable Projects

“This year’s P3 teams have created innovative research projects that tackle some of our most pressing environmental and public health challenges,” said Dr. Thomas A. Burke, EPA’s science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

“These students have the opportunity to bring their exciting new ideas for innovation in sustainability to life, by expanding their learning experience beyond the classroom.”

Teams selected for Phase I awards also showcase their developments at the National Sustainable Design Expo, held in the spring. Following the Expo, P3 teams compete for Phase II awards of up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and potentially bring them to the marketplace.


Tagged categories: Building science; Coatings Technology; Education; EPA; Funding; Green building; North America; Research; Schools

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