Lead Performer: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Berkeley, CA
FY16 DOE Funding: $250,000
Project Term: Current – September 30, 2017
Funding Type: Direct Lab Funding
LBNL’s Facility for Low Energy Experiment in Buildings (FLEXLAB) is the first test bed in the world that can evaluate the energy efficiency of major building systems, as an integrated system, under real-world conditions. Stakeholders can evaluate energy-efficient building technologies individually or as an integrated system in advance of building projects or retrofits, in order to: optimize integrated systems to maximize energy savings, ensure occupant comfort and user friendliness, verify cost-benefit numbers, train building operators, and build confidence in new technologies.
This project supports the operations, industry outreach, and engagement related to FLEXLAB, launched in late 2014, as a critical industry resource for cost-effective integrated systems research, development, and deployment (RD&D). In FY14, LBNL began to conduct industry outreach to identify key industry research needs related to integrated systems. Three target market segments were identified – manufacturers, utilities (particularly their emerging technology and demand-side management programs), and AECO (architects, engineers, contractors, and owners) – in addition to traditional R&D sponsors that would have an interest in this area.
Current industry research and development tends to focus on specific end-use or technology development, achieving energy savings in the range of 5-25% for those particular technologies. In order to meet aggressive energy reduction goals set at state and federal levels however, such as the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007’s goal of demonstrating 50% cost-effective savings, integrated multisystem solutions are likely required. FLEXLAB is the first research and testing facility conceived to allow for the development of whole building integrated solutions.
DOE Technology Manager: Karma Sawyer
Lead Performer: Cindy Regnier, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory