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May 3, 2016
The US Army Corps of Engineers Hut test site in Champaign, IL. ORNL used EnergyPlus to model the performance of the original B-Hut (middle), insulated B-Hut (left) and SIP Hut (right).<br />Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
When Saving Energy Helps Save Lives

National lab researchers are working with U.S. Military to evaluate energy-efficient base structures and reduce the need for dangerous refueling missions in hostile territories.

May 2, 2016
The new Heat Pump Design Model web interface, developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, expands the tool’s online accessibility. <br />
Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Web-based DOE/ORNL Heat Pump Design Model Released

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) Heat Pump Design Model (HPDM), a hardware-based vapor-compression system research and design tool originally developed in the mid-1970s, remains cutting edge through continuous evolution.

April 26, 2016
Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Kaushik Biswas analyzes small-scale modified atmospheric insulation foam composites in a multi-transducer heat flow meter apparatus.
Insulation Project Moves Toward Higher R-value

Current commercially available insulation materials yield R-6 per inch or less with no major improvements in thermal performance since the 1970s. In collaboration with Firestone Building Products and NanoPore, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) team led by Kaushik Biswas and Andre Desjarlais continues to research prototype composite foam boards with modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) cores.

April 26, 2016
Energy Department Recognizes Organizations for Leadership in Rooftop Unit Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy recognized six organizations for their leadership in replacing and upgrading rooftop units as part of the Better Buildings Alliance Rooftop Unit Campaign.

April 25, 2016
In Search of Good Ideas!

Join us in the fight to eliminate building energy waste. BTO, five national laboratories, and a dozen industry partners are working to solve some pretty big challenges in building technology and we need your input. 

If you are interested in science and technology, or work in these areas, we want to hear from you! 

Take a look at the each of our current calls for innovation and share your thoughts and ideas:

April 22, 2016
Prairie View A&M Tops 2016 U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition

As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to helping families across the U.S. save money by saving energy, the U.S. Department of Energy announced winners of its third annual Race to Zero Student Design Competition, a collegiate competition engaging university students to design zero energy ready homes.

April 20, 2016
Palo Duro Homes built this 2,215 square-foot home in Sante Fe, New Mexico to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program. The project won a 2015 DOE Housing Innovation Award. 
Photo courtesy Palo Duro Homes
Hear What Homeowners Are Saying About Their Zero Energy Ready Homes

A Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home is a high performance home so energy efficient that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption. Zero energy ready homeowners from across the U.S. discuss what they love about their homes.

April 18, 2016
A new thermoelectric clothes dryer being developed by Oak Ridge National Lab and Sheetak, Inc. could yield a 38% reduction in energy use compared to current dryers, which could save 356 TBtu of energy per year.
BTO Partners Develop Novel, Energy-efficient Thermoelectric Clothes Dryer Prototype

ORNL and Sheetak, Inc. have developed prototypes of a novel thermoelectric (TE) clothes dryer that is energy efficient and has a potentially short payback period. The solid-state heat pump technology is expected to deliver an energy factor greater than 6 lb/kWh, a major improvement over current electric resistance dryers, which perform at only 3.73 lb/kWh.

April 14, 2016
A before-and-after image of the OpenStudio Measure “AEDG K-12 school daylighting package” demonstrates the surgical power of Measures. Source: NREL.
There’s a Measure for That!

OpenStudio Measures are short programs that can be used to transform models, create custom visualizations and reports, and automate modeling workflows. OpenStudio users are writing Measures to improve their own processes and their services.

April 12, 2016
Join our online community to learn about industry challenges, share ideas, and discuss solutions.
DOE Announces Major Expansion of Crowdsourcing Initiative for Building Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced a major expansion of its distinctive online crowdsourcing community for building technologies. Seeking to draw on the creativity and technical expertise of the American public, citizens can now submit their ideas to nine open calls for innovation, with the chance to partner with a DOE national laboratory and a leading private sector partner.

April 11, 2016
CBI’s Unwavering Commitment to Continuous Improvement

This past week, the Commercial Buildings Integration (CBI) program, along with our four other sister programs in the Building Technologies Office (BTO), hosted one of our most important events of the year – Peer Review.

April 8, 2016
Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Or, well maybe not that long ago and a little closer to home ... two federal programs with building sustainability and efficiency goals in mind came together in a partnership that would blossom from idea into a new valuable and efficient initiative benefiting both private and public sector entities.

April 1, 2016
New Energy Department-supported technologies under development at Ames National Laboratory could make refrigerators a substantially more energy efficient appliance.
New Refrigeration Technology Could Substantially Cut Energy Use

The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office - as part of a Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative - is supporting research into new technologies that could substantially cut the energy and cost of refrigeration.

March 31, 2016
Home Improvement Catalyst: Bringing Energy Efficiency to More Homes Across America

The home improvement market represents $150 billion in annual investment, with more than 14 million projects that involve replacement or upgrades of heating and cooling systems, windows, siding and roofs, insulation, and other measures.

March 30, 2016
Energy Department Announces Publication of Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator Resources Toolkit

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the publication of a high-impact, informational resources toolkit through its Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator developed in partnership with 18 cities and utilities across the nation.

March 29, 2016
EPA and DOE Honor 2016 Energy Star Partners of the Year for Outstanding Achievements in Energy Efficiency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department honoring 149 businesses and organizations in 35 states for their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements.

March 23, 2016
Success of the Interior Lighting Campaign

The Better Buildings Initiative (BB), works with a variety of market sectors to develop innovative solutions with the ultimate goal of decreasing energy costs without adversely affecting productivity.

March 23, 2016
RESNET’s decision to use EnergyPlus for the central implementation of HERS Index is part of a broad initiative aimed at enhancing consistency of HERS Index scores. <br />Credit: RESNET, DOE.
EnergyPlus Is Going Residential

Hourly energy modeling—and specifically DOE’s advanced hourly energy modeling engine EnergyPlus—is poised to assume a greater role in residential energy modeling and energy efficiency. A turning point took place several weeks ago, when RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) announced that it will move its popular HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index toward a centralized single-source implementation based on EnergyPlus.

March 23, 2016
Quiz: Test Your Lighting IQ

Test your knowledge about the lighting technology that brightens our world.

March 21, 2016
Carnegie Mellon University recognized the University of Pennsylvania's DR-Advisor team as the top winner at its inaugural Allegheny Region Cleantech University Prize in March. Dr. Grace M. Bochenek, director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (left) and Dr. Jared Cohon, director of Carnegie Mellon's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation (right) presented the winnings to Professor Rahul Mangharam (second from left), Dr. Madhur Behl (second from right), and Kuk Jiang (not pictured).
Carnegie Mellon Launches Allegheny Region Cleantech University Prize

The Energy Department's Cleantech University Prize competition traveled to the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for the first-ever Allegheny Region contest. A team from the University of Pennsylvania, which has developed a data-drive model for predicting a building’s power consumption, was crowned the winner and took home the $50,000 prize. Teams from the University of Maryland, Drexel University, and Carnegie Mellon University also secured additional prize money.

March 18, 2016
Seeking Feedback on General Service Lamps

The United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) Emerging Technologies Program is seeking information from the public regarding lamps in general illumination applications.

March 15, 2016
4 Small Businesses Selected to Collaborate with National Labs on Building Technologies Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 33 small businesses, including 4 businesses working on buildings related issues, to work directly with DOE national labs to accelerate the transformation toward a clean energy economy. The selected businesses will be afforded access to world-class laboratory resource to help move these innovative ideas and technologies closer to the marketplace.

March 14, 2016
Better Buildings Accelerators: Driving Uptake of Home Energy Information and Upgrade Programs Nationwide

The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Home Upgrade Program and Home Energy Information Accelerators work with partners across the nation and are making important progress in lowering the costs of energy upgrade programs, while improving overall program effectiveness and enhancing access to information on home energy performance for consumers.

March 11, 2016
Under Secretary for Science and Energy  Dr. Franklin Orr announces Denver as the host city for the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. | Photo courtesy of Ellen Jaskol
Energy Department Announces Denver as Next Location for Solar Decathlon Competition in 2017

Denver wins bid to host next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, in which student teams compete to design, build and operate cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive solar-powered houses.

March 10, 2016
DOE’s Innovative Small Business Vouchers Pilot Selects 33 Small Businesses for Lab Collaboration

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that 33 small businesses have been selected to work directly with DOE national labs to accelerate the transformation toward a clean energy economy. The selected businesses will be afforded access to world-class laboratory resources to help move these innovative ideas and technologies closer to the marketplace.