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Three day workshop @MIT: Model Cities Anywhere – Pathways towards a Net Zero Urban Building Stock

January 19, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

The Sustainable Design Lab at MIT has developed an new web app called UBEM.io to streamline the creation and analysis of urban building energy models (UBEMs). The resulting urban models can be directly used within MIT’s Urban Modeling Interface (UMI) to calculate operational building energy use along with savings from various retrofitting upgrades for hundreds or thousands of new or existing buildings. During this free, three day workshop we are looking for teams who want to develop a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction plan for their jurisdiction.

When & Where?

The workshop will be taught remotely. Formal instructions will last from 10am-3pm EST every day from January 19th to 21st 2021. During the workshop, external groups of two will be teamed up with two MIT students to set up a prototype UBEM of parts of their city. The expectation is that external groups will continue working with the city following the workshop and ultimately share their findings with the instructors.

Eligibility Requirements

o    Participants must demonstrate that they have existing, strong relationships with a municipal government agency responsible for implementing a GHG emission reduction plan. To demonstrate actual interest, a city representative is expected to participate during the first hour of the workshop for an overview (Jan 19 10am ET) as well as during the final presentation of preliminary results on Jan 21 at 1pm ET.

o    At least one member of the team should have experience using building energy modeling software and be committed to continue working with the city on the UBEM past the three day workshop.

o    Data requirements: A recent GIS shapefile and tax assessor data or other databases describing building heights (or stories) and program must be available to the team before the workshop.

o    Software requirements: To initially generate our UBEMs, we will be using MIT’s new UBEM.io web app. For the actual energy simulations we will be using the Urban modeling Interface, a plug-in for Rhinoceros 3D (Rhino). Participants will need access to a newish Windows computer with Rhino on it.


To register your interest in the workshop, please fill out this form.


January 19, 2021
10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Sustainable Design Lab at MIT