Clean Energy

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Building Technologies


Reducing the energy consumption of the nation’s buildings is essential for achieving a sustainable clean energy future and will be an enormous challenge. Buildings account for 40% of the nation’s carbon emissions and the consumption of 41% of our primary energy, 74% of our electricity, and 34% of our natural gas (56% counting natural gas used to generate electricity consumed in buildings). The importance of buildings is amplified because some decentralized renewable energy technologies are most economical when using buildings as their deployment platforms—for example, generating power with building-integrated photovoltaic cells, lighting and heating water with direct sunlight, and space conditioning and water heating with energy from the ground.

The Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC), in the Energy and Transportation Science Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), focuses on research and development of new building technologies, whole-building and community integration, improved energy management in homes and buildings during their operational phase, and market transformations from concept to commercialization in all of these areas.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) programs supported by BTRIC are primarily within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and include the

  • Building Technologies Office,
  • Federal Energy Management Program,
  • Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office, and
  • Sustainability Performance Office.

BTRIC also supports other DOE-EERE offices, other DOE programs, other federal agencies, state agencies, and the private sector through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and DOE’s Work for Others (WFO) program and as a DOE-designated National User Facility.

Learn more at www.ornl.gov/buildings.

For more information, contact:

Director, Building Technologies Research and Integration Center
Patrick Hughes
865.574.9337

Recent Research Highlights

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Advances in Understanding Durability of the Building Envelope: ORNL Research
— Moisture, and its accompanying outriders – things like mold, corrosion, freeze damage, and decay – present powerful threats to the durability and long-term performance of a building envelope.

First Annual Housing Innovation Award Winners Announced
— On October 4, 2013, the US Department of Energy (DOE) presented the inaugural winners of the firstever Housing Innovation Awards. The Awards recognize 46 diverse industry leaders bringing the best in energy efficient building technologies and design to new and older homes and helping households save money.

Tips on Homeowner Education
— Homeowner education is a facet of green building that receives little press; yet it is a growing mandate within various green building certification programs.

 
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