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Dr. Joshua D. Kneifel

Dr. Joshua D. Kneifel is an economist in the Office of Applied Economics of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Kneifel joined the staff at NIST's Office of Applied Economics from the University of Florida in 2008. His research at NIST implements whole building energy simulation, life-cycle costing, and life-cycle environmental assessment to determine the economic and environmental consequences of increasing the energy efficiency of building construction.

Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES)

Currently, Dr. Kneifel is working closely with Barbara Lippiatt on a new BEES approach using a combination of input-output analysis and process-based life-cycle assessment to determine the life-cycle costs and environmental performance of an entire building given the integrated nature of building envelopes and systems. Dr. Kneifel is currently analyzing nearly 14,000 whole building energy simulations to determine the cost-effectiveness of more energy efficient building designs, and the resulting reduction in a buildings carbon footprint.

Dr. Kneifel is adding a major component to the BEES framework regarding the potential impact of carbon restrictions on building design decisions. Any future carbon regulation will lead to the measurement and pricing of greenhouse gas emissions. These restrictions will lead to additional construction costs as well as future energy costs, and could significantly impact the cost-effectiveness of alternative building designs. The goal of this project is to estimate the economic and environmental impacts future carbon restrictions will have on the building industry. The initial stage will generate realistic case studies to determine how a price on carbon will impact decisions made in the building industry.

Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility

A new project at NIST is the design and construction of a new Net Zero Energy Research Facility. A net zero energy house generates the same amount of energy from renewable sources as it uses over a one-year period. The goal of the project is not only construct a net zero energy house, but to construct a house that looks like a typical house available in the Gaithersburg area. Dr. Kneifel has the task to construct a 3D representation of the house envelope and HVAC system, generate whole energy simulations, and analyze the results to determine ability of the construction design to reach, or exceed, net zero energy use over the first year of operation.

Energy Efficiency through Shade Tree Placement

Dr. Kneifel is collaborating with Dave Butry to research the impact shade trees have on home energy use. The results will be analyzed to determine the benefits to both the home owner and the electric utility over the lifetime of a shade tree. The investment in a shade tree will be compared to alternative home energy efficiency investments, such as an improved HVAC system, window shades, and improved thermal insulation.

Joshua D. Kneifel


Engineering Laboratory
Applied Economics Office


University of Florida, Ph.D., Economics, 2008

University of Florida, M.A., Economics, 2005

Doane College, B.S., Mathematics and Economics, 2003


Phone: 301-975-6857
Fax: 301-975-4032