The Building Technology and Urban Systems Division is comprised of three Departments: Building Technology, Building and Industrial Applications and Whole Building Systems. Each department is uniquely tailored to provide expertise in a particular area of building science.
The Building Technology Department focuses on key areas to make buildings more energy-efficient and occupants more comfortable.
Electronics, Lighting & Networks
Working to understand the energy implications of electronics, lighting and networks to develop novel solutions to save time and money and improve infrastructure. Research areas include:
- Electronics – responding to the growing energy use of electronics — consumer electronics, office equipment, processing of information, and others — we consider technical issues and develop energy saving solutions with broad application.
- Lighting – improving the energy efficiency of lighting systems in buildings and homes throughout California and across the nation, and aiming to reduce lighting energy consumption by 50% over twenty years.
- Networks – networks increase connectivity between people, between devices, and between people and devices, providing opportunities for energy efficiency and saving.
- Transportation – We analyze how the combination of vehicle technology, land-use patterns, and driving behavior affect energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and criteria pollutant emissions in the transportation sector.
Developing methods, models and software for virtual prototyping of building technologies and systems to evaluate and optimize their performance to reduce building energy use and ensure building occupants' safety and comfort. Research areas include:
- EnergyPlus whole building energy simulation program
- Modelica Buildings library for rapid prototyping of building energy and control systems
- Commercial Building ENergy Saver (CBES) - a software toolkit for building energy retrofit analysis
- Modeling occupant energy-related behavior in buildings
- Building Controls Virtual Test Bed software for co-simulation and for model-based operation of buildings
- GenOpt optimization program
Windows & Envelope Materials
Developing energy-efficient window systems and studying advanced daylighting design to encourage the use of natural light. This research also works to cool buildings and cities with solar reflective roofs, walls, pavements and cars.
- Advanced materials, coatings and deposition technologies for windows
- Energy performance of window systems, including windows, glazings, frames, and blinds
- Computer tools to improve energy performance and aid product rating and labeling
- Daylighting strategies, including sensors that detect light levels and occupancy, and adjust electric lighting appropriately in response
- Cool roofs, walls and pavements
Some of the largest energy users in today’s economy are high-tech buildings and industrial systems. The energy efficiency of both can be improved through the application of energy management and advanced technologies. Key research areas include:
- Data Centers
- Laboratories and Hospitals
- Energy Management, Policies and Standards, including ISO 50001
- Industry and the Grid
- Technology and Sector Assessments
- Analysis, Measurement and Verification
Sustainable Federal Operations
Bringing together expertise in technology, development, and deployment to support the public sector in achieving energy, environmental, and sustainability goals. Key topics include:
- Alternative Financing
- Institutional Change
- Program Evaluation
- Sustainable Operations
The Whole Building Systems Department includes research groups for commercial and residential building systems.
The Commercial Building Systems Group promotes the design, construction, and operation of energy-efficient commercial buildings through applied research and development, deployment strategies, and integrated, whole-building approaches. Research areas include:
- Building systems integration
- Test facilities and technical support for emerging technologies and strategies
- Energy information systems
- Benchmarking and energy epidemiology
- Commercial building finance and energy factors
- Commissioning and diagnostics
The Residential Building Systems Group promotes whole-building systems integration and indoor air quality. Research areas include:
- HVAC System Technologies
- Indoor Air Quality
- Zero Energy Homes
- High Performance Rating Systems
- Ventilation and Infiltration