Clean Energy

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Building Technologies


Reducing the energy consumption of the nation's buildings and resulting carbon emissions is essential to achieving a sustainable clean energy future. To address the enormous challenge, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is focused on helping develop new building technologies, whole-building and community integration, improved energy management in buildings and industrial facilities during their operational phase, and market transformations in all of these areas. 

Minimizing the energy/carbon footprint of the nation's buildings sector is essential for tackling climate change and will be an enormous challenge. Buildings account for 39% of U.S. carbon emissions and the consumption of 40% of the nation's total primary energy, 73% of electricity, and 55% of natural gas (34% of natural gas excluding gas used to generate electricity consumed in buildings). The importance of buildings is amplified because renewable energy applications such as photovoltaic electricity generation, day lighting, solar water heating, and geothermal (ground-source) space conditioning and water heating are most economical when using buildings as their deployment platforms.

Staff expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and supporting management of a variety of specialized groups enable the center’s research efforts, while the program office within the center administratively coordinates multidisciplinary projects, drawing resources from across the Laboratory.

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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