Center Launches New Jersey Community Microgrids Planning Academy

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                                                 Photo of New Jersey Community Microgrids Planning Academy home page

The Center for Resilient Design has launched the Community Microgrids Planning Academy—a multi-media online educational platform designed to instruct jurisdictions on how to collect, organize, and analyze infrastructure data for the purpose of creating effective microgrid development plans for their communities in order to proceed to the next stage in the overall microgrid development process: the technical feasibility assessment.

This Academy is the culmination of the Microgrids for Resilient Communities Planning Project (SPRAG-185828) undertaken by a multi-discplinary team led by the Center and including Greener by Design, LLC and the Regional Plan Association. The team assisted three jurisdictions in New Jersey—Galloway, Neptune, and Newark—in collecting information for and creating microgrid development plans robust enough to support a technical feasibility assessment.

The Academy incorporates the lessons learned from the microgrid development planning processes observed and documented in these three municipalities, supplemented by best practice information from regional and national sources.

Organized into 5 key sections – Microgrid Basics; the Microgrid Development Process; Community Microgrid Planning; Expert Tutorials; and Resources – the Academy is designed to:

  • Explain what community microgrids are;
  • Describe their potential economic and resilience benefits;
  • Delineate the series of steps needed to develop, implement and manage a microgrid;
  • and prepare municipal officials to more effectively engage with the growing level of microgrid development activity across the US.

Center Rolls Out Resilience Design Study Website: greenwichdesignstudio.org

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Photo of Colette Santasieri presenting resilience study to Greenwich citizens

Colette Santasieri, PhD, presents the results of a 2-year resilience research study to citizens of Greenwich, NJ, a township increasingly exposed to the impacts of flooding and storm surge.

Titled At Risk: Healthy Coastal Ecosystems and Resilient Communities and Economies in an Era of Climate Change: A Balanced Approach to Protecting People, Property and Nature in Historic Greenwich Township, New Jersey, the study explored design and engineering strategies to:restore and enhance the natural environment focusing on tidal wetlands; improve flood protection in the village; and protect upland habitats, farmland and historic structures and sites.   The project goal was to develop design and engineering approaches that have the power to protect people, property, and natural resources, strengthen the economy, and enhance the quality of life, not only in Greenwich Township, but in other coastal communities throughout the state.

Photo of greenwichdesignstudio.org landing page

The project also included a one-semester design studio at the NJIT College of Architecture and

Design.  The studio explored a series of approaches to help improve the physical and economic resilience of Greenwich, and the results have been loaded into an online platform:      

                                    www.greenwichdesignstudio.org

The studio’s three phases – Research, Strategies and Design – are presented as a series of YouTube videos.  Collectively, the videos describe a process that could be implemented by other jurisdictions – on the Delaware Bay and elsewhere – that are grappling with economic revitalization in the face of increased flood risk. 

Center Attends New Jersey Microgrid Financing Partnerships Roundtable

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Terra Meierdierck recently attended and participated in an invitation-only roundtable discussing possible financing structures to support microgrids in the State of New Jersey. Sponsored by the NJ Board of Public Utilities and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the roundtable was part of a series of Infrastructure Financing Workshops designed to enable participants and their consultants to familiarize themselves with one another’s work and identify preliminary opportunities for collaboration and cooperation to further clean energy microgrid development in the state. Terra presented information on the Center for Resilient Design’s recently completed Community Microgrids Planning Academy (www.microgrids.io).

Photo of Presenter at NJ Microgrids Financing Partnership Workshop 2018

New and Noteworthy

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Center Launches New Jersey Community Microgrids Planning Academy. Read more...


Center Rolls Out Resilience Design Study Website: greenwichdesignstudio.org. Read more...


Center Attends New Jersey Microgrid Financing Partnerships Roundtable 2018. Read more...


Executive Director Deane Evans participates in the 2018 New Jersey Coastal Resilience Summit. Read more...


Executive Director Deane Evans attends invitation-only NYSERDA Climate Change & Buildings: Adaptation Research Planning workshop. Read more...

Director Evans Participates in 2018 New Jersey Coastal Resilience Summit

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On October 9, Director Evans participated in the 2018 New Jersey Coastal Resilience Summit at Monmouth University.  Researchers, practitioners and policy makers from across New Jersey took part in an interactive suite of discussions designed to help the NJ Department of Environmental Protection - who supported the event – to craft a New Jersey Coastal Resilience Plan.  The purpose of the Plan will be to inform and guide the State’s policies, regulations, resource allocations and funding in the coastal zone to reduce the impacts of coastal hazards; increase resiliency for structures, infrastructure systems, environmental resources, and coastal communities; address socially vulnerable populations; and attract equitable and sustainable investment.  The Summit was intended to begin discussion and prioritization of key elements of the Plan, which will continue to develop over the course of 2019.

Photo of Kathleen Frangione, Frank Pallone and DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe at Summit

Kathleen Frangione, Chief Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor; Representative Frank Pallone; and DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe discuss legislative and policy perspectives at the Coastal Resilience Summit.

Director Evans Attends NYSERDA Climate Change & Buildings Workshop

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Executive Director Evans joined researchers, policy makers, and other resilience practitioners and stakeholders from across the Northeast for a one-day, invitation-only workshop in Albany, NY on October 2, 2018.  The workshop – Climate Change & Buildings: Adaptation Research Planning – was convened to help the Environmental Research program at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) by identifying and prioritizing key adaptation issues related to buildings and the built environment.  Findings from the workshop will be used by NYSERDA to update their climate change adaptation research plan for the next five years. 

Photo of Deane Evans

National Resilience Initiative

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Resilience concerns continue to grow in the national consciousness, due in large part to our expanding understanding that many disasters and disturbances are no longer isolated once-in-a-lifetime events, but part of a longer ongoing pattern already set in motion. A new mindset has emerged to accommodate a spectrum of social, environmental, and technological change, while taking into account the people, landscape, or economies at stake.

The National Resilience Initiative (NRI) is a joint program of AIA and the Architects Foundation, with the Association for Collegiate Schools of Architecture, that unites six university-led architecture studios to develop new designs, research, and policies that bolster resilience in the built environment. The NJIT Center for Resilient Design was the first organization selected to join the NRI.

National Resilience Initiative

Resilient Design Scholar

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Resilient Design ScholarResilient Design Scholar

The Center for Resilient Design has received a generous, $5000.00 grant from the American Institute of Architects – its National Resilience Initiative – to support our first “Resilient Design Scholar.” The selected Scholar will be an architecture student who will work with us in the Center over the summer of 2018 to conduct a research project focused on resilient design and construction. The AIA funds will inaugurate the program (all the funds will go to the student) with the hope that we could secure other funding sources – internal or external – to continue the program in subsequent years.

The research focus for our first Scholar will be to create An Introduction to Resilient Design: a curriculum for a three-credit elective course that can be used to teach 4th year architecture students about critical issues in resilient design. The course will be designed to mesh with what 4th year architecture students already know about building design and construction – and what they don’t – and will be designed to reinforce and help expand their knowledge. 

The course will be taught at NJIT during the Spring semester 2019. It is anticipated that the course will also be made available to other architecture schools across North America, potentially in conjunction with the ACSA. 

Resilience + Adaptation

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Deane Evans, the Executive Director of the Center for Resilient Design, is currently the lead author and lead instructional designer of a multimedia online curriculum being produced by the American Institute of Architects titled Resilience + Adaptation. Several of the courses in this 10-hour, 10-course curriculum focus generally on the topic of adaption to chronic stresses (as distinct from resilience to acute shocks), and two of the courses focus specifically on community response to both acute shocks and chronic stresses.

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems: Historic Greenwich Township Project

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The Center for Resilient Design is currently overseeing a project to explore ways to protect ecosystems and their surrounding communities from flooding. Focused on the small community of Greenwich Township, New Jersey, the project seeks to advance coastal resiliency planning while balancing human and ecosystem needs.

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems: Historic Greenwich Township Project  Healthy Coastal Ecosystems: Historic Greenwich Township Project 

A causeway across a tidal creek in Greenwich, NJ. A culvert fitted with a downstream flap gate was installed under and through the causeway.

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