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The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) issued a Notice of Opportunity (NOO) that provides small businesses and other industry partners with more affordable access to ORNL’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC), where they can undertake collaborative, short-term research projects that accelerate the development of new energy-efficient building technologies. This opportunity, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office (BTO), gives selected participants access to ORNL’s experienced staff, unique equipment, and research capabilities.

“The Building Technologies Research and Integration Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an important national resource to de-risk emerging technologies through rigorous field validation,” said Alex Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the U.S. Department of Energy. “By leveraging the capabilities and resources of Oak Ridge, companies both large and small can quickly develop, evaluate, and validate equipment and system technologies to advance the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings.”

This NOO is designed to accelerate and streamline the partnering process, significantly reducing the time, cost, and risk of bringing a product to market. This arrangement, along with the reduction of each project’s cost share from 50% to 20%, encourages businesses to continue innovating despite the adverse economic conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ORNL requests proposals from industry to assess whether their technological approaches could contribute to BTO’s goal of a 30% reduction in U.S. building energy intensity by 2030, relative to the 2010 baseline. As part of the technology collaborations conducted under this announcement, the proposer will describe the potential energy savings and novel, non-energy impacts that may be realized by the targeted project.

Technology areas of interest:

  • HVAC, water heating, and appliances
  • Windows and building envelope
  • Solid-state lighting
  • Building energy modeling
  • Sensors and controls
  • Grid-interactive efficient buildings
  • Residential building integration
  • Commercial building integration

The BTRIC at ORNL, established in 1993, offers unique, world-leading capabilities to potential partners. Selectees can experiment with state-of-the-art building technologies and unique characterization facilities, and leverage advanced-manufacturing capabilities at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. The 38,000 square-foot research campus also includes the flagship Maximum Building Energy Efficiency Research Laboratory, a multi-purpose laboratory dedicated to advancing the energy efficiency and durability of building envelopes, equipment, and appliances.

More information about the ORNL BTRIC can be found at https://www.ornl.gov/facility/btric.

Learn more about the NOO here. The announcement will remain open, subject to availability of funding from the DOE BTO.