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Bosch North America

Bosch, Blueroof Technologies and Local Universities Open First Research Cottage

- Research to accelerate development and market adoption of technologies for enhanced energy efficiency, security and safety
- Facility designed to help elderly and disabled maintain independence
Pittsburgh, PA – At a ribbon-cutting ceremony held September 23 in Pittsburgh’s McKeesport Independence Zone, Bosch Research and Technology Center North America (Bosch RTC-NA), Blueroof Technologies and the Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center at Carnegie Mellon-University of Pittsburgh commemorated the completion of the newly constructed Bosch Blueroof Research Cottage (BRC) and launch of a joint research initiative. City officials and executives from partnering organizations were on-hand, as well as members of the community to tour the BRC and nearby Blueroof Model Cottage & Research Center.

"We are proud to partner with Blueroof and the QoLT Center in researching technologies that allow consumers to increase energy efficiency and resident safety, as well as seniors and the disabled to maintain independence,” said Horst Muenzel, regional president, Bosch RTC-NA. “At Bosch, we are committed to providing technologies that are, as our slogan states, ‘Invented for Life.’ By supporting the BRC project, we obtain real-world data that assists our research in areas such as advanced sensor technologies for energy monitoring, and enhanced security and safety systems for homes and businesses.”

Invented for Independence
The BRC is a Blueroof Engineered System home that seamlessly integrates accessibility, technology, affordability, manufacturability with “green” building techniques, and is designed with unique technology features to allow seniors and those with physical disabilities to maintain their independence. The BRC is located in the McKeesport Independence Zone, a 12-block area southeast of Pittsburgh, targeted to become an aware and assistive community of “smart” single-family and group homes, plus convenience store and community center. Custom designed for research, the BRC allows for occupant data collection in a non-obtrusive way, and contains built-in safety and security features such as sensored windows and doors that will provide a secure living environment. The BRC is also equipped with assistive and innovative technology including activity monitors, automatic floor-level lighting and personal emergency response pendant system that will provide enhanced resident safety.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® certified, the cottage’s mechanical systems include a high-efficiency geothermal deep-well heat pump and heat recovery hot water system supplied by Bosch’s subsidiary FHP Manufacturing, making the cottage extremely energy-efficient, low maintenance and environmentally friendly. A roof-mounted weather station documents external conditions to verify the operational efficiency of the system. Equipped to monitor the cottage’s energy usage, the BRC’s demonstration of energy-efficiency is vital, as providers nationwide implement initiatives to move toward healthier, environmentally friendly facilities. As Blueroof plans to build 14 additional cottages, the McKeesport Independence Zone could become the first LEED certified community in the U.S.

Residents of the BRC will take part in the Quality of Life Technology research program – a comprehensive program that will use the BRC as a part of Blueroof’s ”Proving Ground” for testing new assistive products for medical monitoring, medication management and fall detection/prevention. Daily living activity and behaviorial data will be collected using non-intrusive embedded sensors throughout the facility. Accumulated data will be used to provide direction and proof of how the integration of new technologies can help maintain the independence of seniors and citizens with disabilities, while at the same time, reduce energy costs. Project research will help accelerate market adoption of the technologies, providing researchers and developers necessary real-world data in a timely and controlled manner. Program testing will continue over time in a number of different living environments with differing demographics.

“U.S. household energy prices increased 70 percent between 2000 and 2007, and older citizens’ incomes are often disproportionally affected. With approximately 33,000 Assisted Living Facilities operating in the U.S. today, providers must find ways to increase energy efficiency, yet not lose sight of growing resident safety requirements,” said Muenzel. “It is imperative that companies like Bosch determine technological solutions that address today’s challenges, help decrease costs of living and mitigate further harm to the environment. The BRC project provides a unique research opportunity that will further support our efforts in developing and bringing to market such solutions.”

For more information on the project, visit http://www.bluerooftechnologies.com.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 280,000 associates generated sales of 45.1 billion euros ($66.4 billion) in fiscal 2008. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3.5 billion euros ($5.7 billion), or eight percent of its sales revenue, for research and development and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

In North America, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy and healthcare products. Bosch employs nearly 24,000 associates in more than 70 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with reported sales of $8.6 billion in fiscal 2008. For more information on the company, visit www.boschusa.com. The Bosch Research and Technology Center North America celebrates 10 years of actively pursuing its mission of collaborating closely with other North American researchers from the academic and industrial sectors. For more information, visit www.boschresearch.com.

Blueroof Technologies, Inc. is a non-profit corporation located in McKeesport, Pa. Founded in 2002, Blueroof’s mission is to research, develop and provide housing with integrated technology to enable older citizens and individuals with handicaps remain in a home longer, safer, healthier and happier.

For more information about Blueroof Technologies, go to www.bluerooftechnologies.com.

The Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC) whose mission is to transform lives in a large and growing segment of the population – people with reduced functional capabilities due to aging or disability. Future compassionate intelligent QoLT systems will monitor and communicate with a person, understand her daily needs and tasks, and provide reliable and happily-accepted assistance by compensating and substituting for diminished capabilities. QoLT is a unique partnership between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh that brings together a cross-disciplinary team of technologists, clinicians, industry partners, end users, and other stakeholders to create revolutionary technologies that will improve and sustain the quality of life for all people. For further information, visit www.qolt.org.

Bosch, Blueroom Technologies Open Research Cottage - September 2009


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