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The Community Assessment of Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES) is an engineering and sustainability assessment organization based at the University of California, Berkeley that includes participants from residential communities, industry, academia, and government.

The disciplines of the team members range from:

  • Architecture
  • Bioengineering
  • Business
  • Civil Engineering
  • Economics
  • Environmental Design and Planning
  • Environmental Science, Policy and Management
  • Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
  • Mechanical Engineering

Our current database can be accessed at PlanetCARES.

Mission of CARES[edit]

Currently, there is great emphasis being place upon reducing the environmental impacts associated with human activity in order to reduce to effects of catastrophic climate change. Unfortunately, information concerning sustainability and renewable energy technology is decentralized and unclear. Furthermore, the needs of the end user are fully incorporated during the initial stages of the new product development (NPD) of sustainability and renewable energy technology.

CARES was founded in 2007 to address the disconnect between the creation of technological innovations by engineers and the needs of the end users. Our mission is to enable end users to make informed decisions about sustainability and renewable energy technologies by giving them agency during the design, development, and implementation of sustainability best practices renewable energy technologies.

Our view is that end user control and access to the latest data, models and methodologies during the initial stages of the new product development will accelerate adoption of sustainable solutions.

Goal of CARES[edit]

The goal of CARES is to establish and maintain a reliable, region specific online community in which users can:

  • assess their current level of sustainability,
  • receive advice on appropriate sustainability and energy solutions,
  • connect with vendors to help implement the sustainability and energy solutions, and
  • measure the improvement in their personal level of sustainability and environmental impact.
  • co-develop interoperable open source sustainability assessment tools

We aim to being the premier, impartial "one stop shopping" portal for finding, evaluating and implementing sustainable solutions.

Core Features of CARES[edit]

  • Easy-to-navigate database of sustainability best practices and renewable energy information
  • Region-specific cases studies and suggestions
  • Metrics for evaluating online carbon and sustainability calculators and assessment models
  • Listings of solution vendors and manufacturers
  • Economic, energy, water, and green house gas emissions return on investment data for renewable energy technologies
  • Community of users interested in living sustainably
  • Community of developers for sustainable assessment tools

CARES also provides:

  • custom user needs innovation workshops,
  • sustainability best practices and renewable energy potential assessments, and
  • strategic energy implementation plans

Grants and Projects[edit]

In order to build up the online community and sustainability database, CARES has begun bootstrapping our development through a series of grants from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and the Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN) to build a knowledge base of sustainable best practices, renewable energy technology, economic return on investment data, and implementation results.


CARES has received an Advanced E-Team grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance to create a sustainability database and assessment tools that will allow consumers, communities, academics and solutions providers to work together to assess problems and find solutions to reduce their environmental impact and improve their level of sustainability. [1]

Pinoleville Pomo Nation[edit]

CARES4Pomo: CARES is partnering with the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, a Native American tribe located in Ukiah, CA, to design eco-friendly houses that utilize sustainability best practices, renewable energy technology, and reflect the long-standing culture of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation. This partnership is also mentioned in the UC Berkeley College of Engineering's Innovations article [2] and UC Berkeley College of Engineering's Engineering News [3].


CARES4KSA: CARES is partnering with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Dar Al-Hekma College, a private women's college in Jeddah, on research that will aid the development of a sustainable engineering infrastructure and the adoption of sustainable technologies and practices within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Contact Details[edit]

For more information about CARES and how you can get involved, please contact:

Ryan Shelby, M.S., CARES Co-Founder and Program Manager,

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley Expert Systems Technology Design Lab

Department of Mechanical Engineering

6102 Etcheverry Hall

Berkeley, CA 94720-1740

TEL: 510-643-8146

FAX: 510-643-8146

E-MAIL: ryan_shelby"at"berkeley"dot"edu


CARES Website Suggestions[edit]

This is the link to the CARES website suggestions currently being considered for implementation.