Ben joined NREL in 2009. His work is primarily focused on net zero energy/carbon buildings, neighborhoods, campuses, and districts, including energy master planning, design, and optimization (see related NREL Guide). Ben is the Innovation Lead for the NREL Buildings Communities and Urban Districts research area and is Principal Investigator (PI) for URBANopt™, an open-source software development kit for district- and campus-scale thermal and electrical energy analysis. Ben specializes in the development, validation, and application of energy analysis approaches for individual buildings and collections of buildings interacting with community-scale energy systems (e.g., distributed energy resources, district thermal systems, and electrical distribution systems).

In addition to his work at NREL, Ben has an affiliate joint appointment in the Department of Systems Engineering at Colorado State University. Ben has also served on the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Data & Modeling Standards Technical Committee and industry working groups/subcommittees for BPI, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), and the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA).

Research Interests

Net zero energy/carbon buildings, neighborhoods, campuses, and districts

Energy master planning, design, and optimization (e.g., see URBANopt and related NREL Guide)

Grid-interactive efficient buildings and communities

Advanced evaluation, measurement, and verification methods


M.S. Engineering Mechanics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Featured Work

A Guide to Energy Master Planning of High-Performance Districts and Communities, NREL Technical Report (2020)

Integration of Open-Source URBANopt and Dragonfly Energy Modeling Capabilities into Practitioner Workflows for District-Scale Planning and DesignEnergies (2021)

Advanced Energy Approaches for Mixed-Use Developments in the Front Range Urban Corridor, NREL Technical Report (2021)