BTO manages three types of of projects. 

  • Core projects are long-running projects based at DOE national labs. 
  • Competitively awarded projects are two- or three-year projects awarded either through limited solicitations to the DOE national labs or through open solicitations like the Emerging Technologies program's annual BENEFIT solicitation, Commercial and Residential Building solicitations, and DOE's Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Voucher (SBV) programs. You can learn about upcoming BTO solicitations at and about upcoming small business solicitations at
  • Center-led projects are associated with federally created research and development centers, usually involving DOE counterparts in foreign countries. Centers and their associated projects typically have five-year performance periods. There are currently no active center-led projects in the BEM portfolio.

All projects are prospectively merit-reviewed by external reviewers. They are also retrospectively peer-reviewed by external reviewers once or twice during their performance period. Core projects are divided into three-year performance periods for merit and peer review purposes.

Core BEM Projects

BTO's core BEM portfolio includes software that supports traditional energy-efficiency BEM applications such as energy-efficient design, code development and compliance, and incentives. It also includes projects that support the development of BEM standards.

EnergyPlus is DOE's open-source state-of-the-art whole building energy simulation engine.
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OpenStudio is an open-source software development kit (SDK) for energy modeling with EnergyPlus.
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Lab RFP-2018: URBANopt
URBANopt is a simulation platform and SDK for low-energy districts and campuses supporting simulation of shared thermal systems, DERs, and microgrids.
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ASHRAE Standard 140 Maintenance and Development
A team led by ANL will shepherd ASHRAE Standard 140 "Method of Test for BEM Programs" for the period of 2019-2021.
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ASHRAE Standard 205 Maintenance and Development
A team led by ANL is shepherding the development and maintenance of ASHRAE Standard 205 until Sep. 30, 2021
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ASHRAE Standard 229P Development
A team led by PNNL is providing technical support and leadership to a proposed new standard for testing ruleset implementations in BEM software.
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FEMY: Future and Extreme Weather Data
Researchers at ANL, ORNL, and SNL are using downscaling methods to derive future weather data--both typical weather and extreme events--from IPCC global climate models. This data will support analysis at the individual building and building stock levels.
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A team led by LBNL is developing a wiki that contains task-oriented guidance for BEM tasks such as pre-design, HVAC system selection and sizing, and code compliance. This resource will support BEM professionals, many of whom are self-taught.
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Deep Design Data (D3) Portal
DOE supported the AIA in the development of the 2030 Commitment Design Data Exchange (DDx). In this follow-on project, DOE and LBNL are working with large firms to collect additional project data and prototype additional analytical capabilities.
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Core BEM-Controls Projects

BTO's BEM-controls project portfolio includes software that bridges BEM and control workflows, primarily by supporting the direct evaluation of physically realistic control sequences. By design, this portfolio partially overlaps and reuses components of the more traditional BEM software portfolio, including the OpenStudio SDK and specific modules of the EnergyPlus BEM engines.

Spawn-of-EnergyPlus (Spawn)
Spawn is a next-generation BEM-controls engine based on open-standards for co-simulation (FMI) and equation-based modeling (Modelica).
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A team led by LBNL and PNNL is developing tools to improve the portability and deployability of high-performance control sequences.
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Building Operations Testing Framework (BOPTEST)
BOPTEST is an API and set of models for testing, comparing, and benchmarking building control and fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) algorithms.
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ASHRAE Standard 223P
Researchers at NIST, NREL, and LBNL are working with industry to develop a Semantic Modeling standard for building applications. A Semantic Model is a queryable description that allows software to "discover" the building and configure itself to it.
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Competitively Awarded Projects

These are one, two, or three year project awarded through one of several open competitive mechanisms including BTO's BENEFIT (Building Energy Frontiers and Innovative Technologies), DOE Office of Science's SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) or DOE Office of Technology Transfer TCF (Technology Commercialization Fund). Successful lab-based projects sometimes graduate to "core" status.

BENEFIT-2021: Smart Building Technology Modules for Academic and Professional Education
Slipstream Group and their partners will develop a modular curriculum for smart, grid-interactive energy-efficient building design and operations targeted at both engineering students and professionals.
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SBIR-2021: Easy Does It - Automated Model Input for Building MPC
Model Predictive Control (MPC) can reduce heating and cooling energy and peak demand. Community Energy Labs (CEL) is developing a protocol for configuring grey-box MPC for academic buildings, many of which cannot afford expensive control systems.
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Lab RFP-2019: Building Energy Model-Sensor Data Integration for Energy-Flexible Buildings
LBNL researchers are developing methods by which sensing can complement and enhance building energy modeling.
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Lab RFP-2019: A Simplified Performance Rating Method for Small Commercial Buildings
PNNL researchers are developing a simplified version of the ASHRAE 90.1 PRM suitable for small building projects with small modeling budgets.
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Lab RFP-2019: Empirical Validation of Energy Simulation: FLEXLAB
LBNL researchers are using FLEXLAB to generate detailed datasets for energy simulation validation with an emphasis on internal loads and radian
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Lab RFP-2019: Empirical Validation of Energy Simulation: FRP, iUnit, and NZERTF
ORNL, NREL, and NIST researchers are using three well-instrumented test facilities to generate empirical validation datasets for ASHRAE Standard 140.
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Lab RFP-2019: Empirical Validation of Energy Simulation: ETNA
ANL researchers are analyzing and packaging empirical validation data from ETNA guarded house experiments for inclusion into ASHRARE Standard 140.
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SBIR-PhaseII-2019: CAD‐Integrated Web‐Based Building Performance Simulation Platform
In this SBIR phase II project, Ladybug Tools is adding energy modeling to their Pollination cloud service.
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Completed Projects

SBIR-2021: Automated Calibration Tool for Building Energy Models (ended 2022)
Calibrated energy models support building retrofits and operations, but are not common due to the cost and uncertain fidelity of calibration. ENERlite consulting is developing a guided calibration tool for grey-box models.
SBIR-2021: New Methods for Analyzing Load-Shifting Measures for the Existing Housing Stock (ended 2022)
Utilities need to leverage demand flexibility (DF) in order to maximize renewable integration. OptiMiser will integrate EnergyPlus into its auditing tool allowing it to identify customers for DF programs and measure packages for those customers.
SBIR-PhaseII-2019: Portfolio-Level Energy-Efficiency Simulation (PLES) Platform (ended 2022)
In this phase II, Maalka Inc. will continue developing and deploying platform for integrating BEM into portfolio-scale EE programs.
Lab RFP-2019: Co-Design of HVAC, Controls, and Sensing for Energy-Flexible Buildings (ended 2021)
PNNL researchers are developing a framework for designing systems with increased energy flexibility based on system-control co-design methodology.
Lab RFP-2018: EnergyPlus 10X (ended 2021)
A team led by LBNL and ORNL is undertaking a three-year effort to reduce EnergyPlus execution time by a factor of 10!
BENEFIT-2016: MOISTHERM (ended 2021)
Researchers at LBNL and ORNL are adding moisture transfer modeling capabilities to the popular 2D/3D heat transfer program THERM.
BENEFIT-2016: Data Center Toolkit (ended 2020)
Researchers at UC-Boulder are creating an open-source tool for simultaneously optimizing cooling and airflow in data-centers and computer rooms.
CBI-2016: BayREN Integrated Commercial Retrofits (BRICR) (ended 2020)
A team led by the Bay Area Association of Governments is using OpenStudio to prioritize retrofit projects for small and medium commercial buildings.
Virtual EPB (ended 2020)
ORNL researchers are working with the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga to develop a digital twin of every building in the service territory.
Lab RFP-2016: Validation and Uncertainty Characterization
This project leverages well-characterized, well-instrumented test facilities at ORNL and LBNL to empirically validate BEM engines like EnergyPlus.
BENEFIT-2016: Open Building Control (ended 2019)
A team led by LBNL researchers is developing a toolkit to improve the portability and deployability of high-performance control sequences.
CORE-2016: Test Procedures for Building Energy Simulation Tools (ended 2019)
Lead Performer: -- National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Golden, CO-- J. Neymark & Associates - Golden, CO-- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) - Berkeley, CA
CBERD-2013: Building Energy Simulation and Modeling (ended 2018)
A team led by LBNL and IIIT-Hyderabad is working on a range of use-cases including early-stage design, code compliance, and model-predictive control.
SBIR-2018: BuildSimHub: Development of a Git-based Energy Model Management Platform (ended 2019)
BuildSimHub will add energy simulation and calibration capabilities to their git-based model management platform.
SBIR-2018: Simulating Buildings while the Design is still in the Architect’s Imagination (ended 2019)
GARD Analytics will develop algorithms and an online tool for generating energy models from program owner requirements.
SBIR-2018: Portfolio Level Energy-Efficiency Simulation Platform (ended 2019)
Maalka will add energy simulation and ECM evaluation capabilities to their building energy data platform.
SBIR-2018: CAD-Integrated Web-Based Building Performance Simulation Platform (ended 2019)
Ladybug Tools will use DOE's Radiance lighting engine to develop a cloud-based daylighting simulation service.
SBIR-2018: Developing BEM Applications for the Reinsurance Industry (ended 2019)
Prisere will add energy modeling to its analytical workflow to allow insurance and reinsurance companies to properly value energy-efficiency.
SBIR-2018: M&V and EPC Process Automation (ended 2019)
EnergyAnalytics LLC will leverage OpenStudio SDK to help automate the energy performance contracting process for microgrid projects.
SBIR-2018: XeroHome: A Whole-Building Energy Modeling Based Targeting Tool for Existing Residential Energy Improvements (ended 2019)
Vistar Energy will develop XeroHome, a web-based incremental energy modeling workflow for residential energy-efficiency improvements.
SBIR-2018: Building Energy Calibration based on Parameter Estimation and Machine Learning (ended 2019)
Golden Analytics will develop more accurate energy model calibration algorithms by leveraging high-level parameters and temporal disaggregation.
BUILD-2014: User-Oriented Modeling Tools for Advanced Hybrid and Climate-Appropriate Rooftop Air Conditioners (ended 2017)
Students at the University of California-Davis will develop data-driven models for advanced rooftop air conditioners for EnergyPlus.
BENEFIT-2014: A New Hybrid Approach to Energy Modeling (ended 2016)
LBNL researchers are developing inverse modeling algorithms to recover infiltration rates and internal thermal mass from zone temperature streams.
SBIR-2014: Commercial-Grade, Scalable Support and Training Services Platform (ended 2015)
Small business Big Ladder Software of Denver will develop content for training and support services offerings for DOE's BEM engine EnergyPlus.
SBIR-2014: Minimizing User Burden in Building Energy Analysis (ended 2015)
Small business ThermoAnalytics of Calumet, MI is developing analysis algorithms to extract envelope thermal properties from infrared (IR) images.
SBIR-2014: Integrated Energy Analysis and Validation Environment (ended 2015)
Small business Energy Analytics of Avon, CT will use DOE's OpenStudio platform to integrate M&V into the building design and construction process.
CORE-2013: Energy Modeling Community Resources (ended 2014)
NREL is working with RMI and IBPSA-USA to develop online resources for energy modelers and their clients, including architects and building owners.
CORE-2012: Autotune (ended 2014)
A team led by researchers at ORNL is developing algorithms for automatically calibrating energy models to exceed ASHRAE guideline 14 requirements.