Clean Energy


Building Envelopes


The building envelope―the materials that separate the indoor and outdoor environments―primarily determines the amount of energy required to heat, cool, and ventilate a building. The envelope also can significantly influence energy needs in areas accessible to sunlight. 

To cost-effectively improve the energy efficiency, moisture-durability, and environmental sustainability of building envelopes, ORNL is exploring new and emerging materials, components, and systems as well as the fundamentals of heat, air, and moisture transfer.  Research is also focused on multifunctional solutions where the envelope serves as a filter that selectively accepts or rejects solar radiation and outdoor air, depending on the need for heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting.

  • Walls
  • Roofs and Attics
  • Foundations
  • Sheathings
  • Membranes
  • Coatings
  • Materials

Learn more at

Building Envelope Systems Research

Group Leader
Roderick Jackson


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