Lead Performer: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Berkeley, CA
Partner: University of California Berkeley – Berkeley, CA
Project Term: October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2023
Funding Type: Direct Funded

Project Objective

In June 2019, the International Energy Administration Energy in Building and Communities (IEA EBC) Programme launched Annex 80: Resilient Cooling, an international collaborative research project to develop, assess, and communicate solutions of resilient cooling and overheating protection. It encompasses the assessment and research and development of both active and passive cooling technologies of the following four groups:

  • Reduce externally induced heat gains to indoor environments
  • Enhance personal comfort apart from cooling whole spaces
  • Remove sensible heat from indoor environments
  • Control latent heat (humidity) of indoor environments

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley Center for the Built Environment (CBE) will represent the U.S. in Annex 80. The project team will leverage their expertise in (a) using solar-control envelope technologies (advanced windows, shading, and cool roofs/walls) and no/low energy ventilation (natural ventilation; low-power fan ventilation that can be powered from PVs, batteries, and/or standby generators) to reduce externally induced heat gains to the indoor environment, remove heat from the indoor environment, and otherwise improve occupant thermal comfort through the use of air movement to remove body heat; and (b) evaluating hourly thermal loads, HVAC energy use, and occupant comfort with simulation tools such as EnergyPlus and the CBE comfort model.

Project Impact

To meet future demands, the International Energy Agency projects that by 2050 around two-thirds of the world’s households could have an air conditioner. Affordable and effective passive/low-energy cooling measures can help U.S. homes and businesses adapt to increasingly frequent extreme heat events in three ways. First, it will make building occupants more resilient to hot weather, boosting comfort, health, and productivity. Second, it will make building cooling systems more resilient to hot weather, improving their ability to meet cooling loads. Third, it will make the electric grid more resilient to hot weather, reducing the numbers of hours each year in which power demand, spiked by extraordinary demand for air conditioning, exceeds power supply. These measures could reduce illness and death in disadvantaged communities where residents lack air conditioning. They will also benefit any community subject to scheduled or unscheduled power outages.


DOE Technology Manager: Marc Lafrance
Lead Performer: Ronnen Levinson, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory