Lead Performer: Signetron Inc. -- Berkeley, CA
-- Rocky Mountain Institute – Boulder, CO
-- cocoon construct – Syracuse, NY
-- Kieran Timberlake – Philadelphia, PA
DOE Total Funding: $500,000
Cost Share: $125,000
Project Term: 18 months
Funding Type: Advanced Building Construction FOA Award

As part of the ABC FOA topic Integrated Building Retrofits, this project is one of a cohort of Phase 1 projects that will design and prototype a technology or approach that provides a deep energy-saving retrofit solution for one or more building energy systems. Once completed, BTO will conduct a competitive review of this project, along with all Phase 1 projects, to down-select recipients for Phase 2 awards that focus on a whole-building deep energy retrofit solution. Phase 2 awardees will develop and field-validate their retrofit solution from Phase 1 on at least two occupied, operational buildings.

Project Objective

This project will demonstrate the effectiveness of prefabricated panels for low rise multifamily residential buildings in the U.S. The project team will develop an integrated design to manufacturing workflow that unifies all actors across the supply chain for building envelope retrofits. This includes a panelization algorithm that supports all phases of design and required level of detail (LoD) for the Building Information Model (BIM) model, is informed by material and manufacturing constraints, and is the basis for panel fabrication.

The project workflow consists of two major parts:

  • Accurate 3D reality capture of the building to create a 3D point cloud
  • Accurately converting the scanned 3D point cloud into piecewise planar panel configuration on the facades by leveraging panel manufacturing, fabrication, and installation constraints

The panel information is then converted to CAM files needed for 2D cutting or 3D printing machinery. The proposed workflow is faster, cheaper, more automated, and more efficient than traditional methods and as such is going to reduce the onsite retrofit time to less than seven working days for a typical two-story residential home.

Project Impact

This technology will be applicable to 89% of U.S. residential home/units resulting in annual energy savings of 6,200 TBtu, assuming it is coupled with an HVAC system upgrade. Anticipated direct savings attributed to the thermal envelope improvements will comprise 27% site energy use reduction.


DOE Technology Manager: Sven Mumme
Lead Performer: Avideh Zakhor, Signetron Inc.

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