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Interviewed by Joseph Buehler, Student Assistant, Georgia Tech Campus Sustainability. Republished with permission.
Since 2009, Dr. Crittenden has led the BBISS at Georgia Tech. He took a moment to describe some of the Institute's projects:
"BBISS has worked on problems such as the decentralization of energy and water. In the past our infrastructure was optimized in a silo fashion, where each provider focuses specifically on their product. We look at connecting those and optimizing the system as a whole. An example that we have looked into is a combined heating cooling and power system. Basically it is a device that creates electrical energy and gives off heat. If this is close to where you live, then you can utilize that heat. In terms of water, Atlanta gets about 45 inches of rainwater per year. According to our calculations that could provide 40-50 percent of water demands. Collecting that water for use also reduces the energy impact associated with getting water because it no longer needs to be pumped from a plant to your sink. All of these play into community design which is truly dictated by what the people living there want. For a grant, we are analyzing surveys from the Atlanta Regional Commission to help determine the best way to integrate more sustainable systems into an already large infrastructure system. We have learned that the adoption rate of technologies is higher when the technologies are provided in packages and systems."