California Gov. Jerry Brown, China Energy Group leader Lynn Price, and members of the Chinese delegation at the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles.

Berkeley Lab’s Work for a Greener China Highlighted at U.S.-China Climate Summit

The China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently participated in the two-day U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles. The Summit fulfills a key element of the U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change by Presidents Obama and Xi last November, helping to ensure that the ambitious actions to address climate change that both leaders committed to will be implemented at the state and local level, where they matter most.

China Energy Group Leader Lynn Price spoke at the breakout session on Low Carbon City Planning, describing the Group’s recent finding that 58 percent of China’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are from urban areas. Nan Zhou, Deputy Group Leader of the China Energy Group and Lab lead for the U.S.-China Joint Initiative Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), organized and co-moderated the breakout session on Climate-Smart Buildings and Green Infrastructure along with the Group’s collaborator, Ye Qing of the Shenzhen Institute for Building Research. 

“The China Energy Group has extensive experience working with Chinese institutions and cities to lower their carbon emissions,” Price said. “Now we’re looking forward to joining with others to offer our knowledge and resources as part of the efforts following this Summit to assist China’s cities in peaking their energy-related carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible.”

Solar-LED lanterns provide far more and better light, allowing businesses to stay open later into the evening and improving people's ability to earn a living

Modern Off-Grid Lighting Could Create 2 Million New Jobs in Developing World

Many households in impoverished regions around the world are starting to shift away from inefficient and polluting fuel-based lighting—such as candles, firewood, and kerosene lanterns—to solar-LED systems. While this trend has tremendous environmental benefits, a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that it spurs economic development as well, to the tune of 2 million potential new jobs.

Berkeley Lab researcher Evan Mills, who has been studying lighting in the developing world for more than two decades, has conducted the first global analysis of how the transition to solar-LED lighting will impact employment and job creation. His study was recently published in the journal Energy for Sustainable Development in a paper titled, "Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting."

"People like to talk about making jobs with solar energy, but it's rare that the flip side of the question is asked—how many people will lose jobs who are selling the fuels that solar will replace?" said Mills. "We set out to quantify the net job creation. The good news is, we found that we will see many more jobs created than we lose."

Read full article HERE

Berkeley Lab to Investigate Link between Thirdhand Smoke and Cancer

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have been awarded $1.3 million for two sets of studies to better understand the health impacts of thirdhand smoke, the noxious residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out.

The two three-year grants are from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), which is managed by the University of California and funded by state cigarette taxes. In one set of studies, life science researchers will seek to confirm the link between thirdhand smoke and cancer, identifying the mechanisms and biomarkers. In the second set of studies, environmental chemists will seek to characterize the components of thirdhand smoke, including investigating the differences between atmospheric particulate matter versus that in tobacco smoke.  Read more here

Berkeley Lab researchers found a way to make ruby red coatings as cool as white coatings. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

Fluorescent Ruby Red Roofs Stay as Cool as White

Elementary school science teaches us that in the sun, dark colors get hot while white stays cool. Now new research from Berkeley Lab’s Heat Island Group has found an exception: scientists have determined that certain dark pigments can stay just as cool as white by using fluorescence, the re-emission of absorbed light. More>

Washington Hilton: SEP Platinum Certified Credit: Hilton Worldwide.

Hilton Worldwide achieves Superior Energy Performance (SEP) Certification

Hilton Worldwide, the first hospitality company to achieve Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) certification from the U.S. Department of Energy, is benefiting from verified facility-wide energy performance improvements of 6.3% to 15.85% for three of their US properties. Read Hilton's full SEP announcement here.

Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) certifies industrial facilities that implement an energy management system that meets the ISO 50001 global energy management system standard and achieve improved energy performance.

LBNL researchers, led by Aimee McKane, have been instrumental in the development of SEP, providing critical expertise in standards, measurement and verification, workforce competency, and program design. This work builds on Ms. McKane's leadership in the development of ISO 50001.
Additionally, LBNL's Dr. Peter Therkelsen is leading and publishing original analyses based on field data from US industrial facilities implementing SEP.

A thermal image of the Hansen Federal Building in Ogden, Utah, where Berkeley Lab performed a window retrofit study. (Credit: Berkeley Lab Windows and Envelope Materials Group)

Berkeley Lab Awarded DOE Grants for Greener Buildings

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has been awarded more than $4 million by the Department of Energy (DOE) to undertake three projects aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings, which account for more than 40 percent of the country’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The projects, including a nanoparticle-based super insulation (R. Prasher), a platform for automated building controls (M. Wetter and P. Haves), and an advanced moisture modeling tool (D.Curcija), will help meet the DOE goal to reduce the energy intensity of the U.S. building sector by 30 percent by 2030. On average, nearly a third of the energy used in buildings is wasted. It’s estimated that if the U.S. reduced energy use in buildings by 20 percent, the nation could save nearly $80 billion annually on energy bills.

“Berkeley Lab has been at the forefront of building technologies research for more than 30 years, having pioneered innovations such as efficient lighting, low-emissivity windows, and versatile tools for building designers,” said Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Associate Lab Director for Energy Technologies. “We are continuing to build on that foundation while utilizing more from the science toolkit, such as advanced materials and nanoscience.”

Read more abou the projects HERE.

Berkeley Lab to Investigate Link between Third-hand Smoke and Cancer

Berkeley Lab researchers have been awarded $1.3 million for two sets of studies to better understand the health impacts of third-hand smoke, the noxious residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces long after the second-hand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out. Berkeley Lab scientists first sounded the warning on third-hand smoke with a pair of studies in 2010 establishing that nicotine in third-hand smoke can react with common indoor air pollutants to produce dangerous carcinogens.

"These two grants represent the largest annual total in the history of the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) to Berkeley Lab and affirm that we remain on the cutting edge of research in this area," said Berkeley Lab researcher Hugo Destaillats. The team will look at the particulate matter in third-hand smoke, or PM2.5, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in size and also further characterize the composition and chemistry of third-hand smoke.  

Go HERE or check out  for additional information. 

The Portable Window Energy Meter — jointly developed by researchers from Brazil and the United States — can reduce energy losses in buildings by measuring and assessing the energy performance of windows without removing them from their site.

U.S.-Brazil Collaboration Leads to Innovative Device That Reduces Energy Use in Buildings – Device showcased by Berkeley Lab’s Dr. Charlie Curcija at National Fenestration Rating Council Fall Meeting

Cool Roofs Team: Back row, L to R: Paul Berdahl, Thomas Kirchstetter, Hugo Destaillats, Haley Gilbert, Sharon Chen Front row, L to R: Hashem Akbari (Concordia University), Ronnen Levinson Not pictured: Mohamad Sleiman, George Ban-Weiss (formerly of LBL)

Berkeley Lab Takes Home R&D 100 Award for Cool Roof Time Machine

R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Awards, established 54 years ago, recognize 100 technologies and services introduced in the previous year deemed most significant by an independent panel of judges. This year's winners received the awards at a November 3 event in Washington, D.C.

The Cool Roof Time Machine simulates soiling and weathering processes in the lab, reproducing in less than three days the solar reflectance of roofing products naturally aged for three years. Published as ASTM Standard D7897-15, this method is the basis of the Cool Roof Rating Council's Rapid Ratings program. This process is about 400X faster than natural exposure, costs about 80 percent less for testing a single product, can facilitate rapid prototyping and can avoid three years of lost sales worth $4.5 million to $9 million per product. The Cool Roof Time Machine will speed the introduction of high-performance cool roofs both in the United States and globally. Cool roofs can lower a building's energy use and mitigate the urban heat island effect by reflecting sunlight away from buildings and cities.

Read more about the teams research, visit their website

Berkeley Lab’s paintable window coating is based on brush block copolymers that rapidly self-assemble to photonic crystals, which are easily tunable across the entire spectrum of solar energy. (Credit: Garret Miyake, University of Colorado)

Berkeley Lab Scientists Developing Paint-on Coating for Energy Efficient Windows

It's estimated that 10 percent of all the energy used in buildings in the U.S. can be attributed to window performance, costing building owners about $50 billion annually, yet the high cost of replacing windows or retrofitting them with an energy efficient coating is a major deterrent. U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers are seeking to address this problem with creative chemistry—a polymer heat-reflective coating that can be painted on at one-tenth the cost.

“Instead of hiring expensive contractors, a homeowner could go to the local hardware store, buy the coating, and paint it on as a DIY retrofit—that’s the vision,” said Berkeley Lab scientist Raymond Weitekamp. “The coating will selectively reflect the infrared solar energy back to the sky while allowing visible light to pass through, which will drastically improve the energy efficiency of windows, particularly in warm climates and southern climates, where a significant fraction of energy usage goes to air conditioning.”

A team of Berkeley Lab scientists is receiving part of a $3.95 million award from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency­–Energy (ARPA-E) to develop this product. The multi-institutional team is led by researcher Garret Miyake at the University of Colorado Boulder, and also includes Caltech and Materia Inc.

Go HERE to read entire story. 

Proposed ASTM Standard Will Test Ventilation When Cooking, Promoting Safety

A proposed new ASTM International standard will help determine how well a kitchen range hood exhausts pollutants from a stovetop. These pollutants include moisture, odors, and chemicals and particles that are health hazards.

The proposed standard (WK55797, Test Method for Measuring Capture Efficiency of Domestic Range Hoods) is being developed by ASTM International's committee on performance of buildings (E06).

ASTM member and Berkeley Lab Staff Scientist, Iain Walker notes that the standard will determine a "capture efficiency rating" that tells what fraction of the cooking emissions are vented directly outside. A higher rating indicates better performance.

"We anticipate that the standard will be used by the kitchen ventilation industry," says Walker, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Products could be labeled with their capture efficiency rating, allowing contractors and consumers to ask for higher performing range hoods."

In addition, codes-related organizations and other bodies could use the standard to specify minimum performance requirements or to provide incentives for higher performing range hoods. Also, manufacturers could use the rating to distinguish between classes of performance for marketing purposes and in the development of higher performance range hoods. Finally, ratings could be included in broader home ventilation product ratings.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

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Building Performance Tracking Handbook

LBNL EMIS work featured on

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (LBNL's) Jessica Granderson was featured in an article on the website last month. Jessica Granderson, Research Scientist and Deputy for Research Programs at LBNL's Building Technology and Urban Systems Division leads LBNL's EMIS portfolio of research work and is also leader of the Department Of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) EMIS Project Team. is a community of facilities managers and building owners responsible for the operation of commercial and public buildings. It offers an audience of 102,339 decision-makers who come to the site for information on new products and technology because it helps them make smarter building decisions.

The article was titled "Finding the Right Energy Dashboard for Your Facilities" and provided insights to identifying tools for monitoring and managing energy use that suit an organization's operational needs. In the article, Jessica provided an overview of the EMIS technology classification framework developed by LBNL for BBA members, the costs vs. benefits of an EMIS, and topics to think about when specifying an EMIS for an organization.

The article also featured BBA EMIS project team member Pat Lydon, who is Sustainability Program Manager at Legacy Health in Portland Oregon. He provided insights from his experience of acquiring and using an EMIS in his organization.

Fudned by DOE's Building Technologies Office, the BBA EMIS project team launched in 2012 to address the broad and rapidly evolving family of tools and services for managing commercial building energy use. Through this work the EMIS team works with BBA members to capture their experiences, make the business case for using these technologies and disseminates the findings to increase market adoption of EMIS.

BEST Institute participants

Advancing Education for Tomorrow’s Building Technicians

The concept of building efficiency is easy enough to grasp: ensure comfort and functionality while using less energy. Making that happen in a given building, however, isn't always straightforward. Achieving low-energy retrofits and good operations require well-trained technicians who know how to interpret building characteristics and energy data, which is why educators are interested in learning about hands-on exercises and tools they can use with students. 

Nearly 40 faculty members from 27 community and technical colleges across the United States were introduced to new tools in January, 2017, at a workshop at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) in the Energy Technologies Area (ETA). This included using FLEXLAB®, the world's most advanced building efficiency test bed.

See the full story here.

While demonstrating its BIPV technology in an occupied building, Solaria, the GSA, and LBNL, will compile data on energy generation, thermal performance, daylighting, glare, and occupant comfort. This information will be compared with non-BIPV windows in

Solaria Solar Windows Accepted By US GSA Green Proving Ground Program

After tests at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (LBNL) FLEXLAB, Solaria BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) solar windows have been accepted into the US GSA Green Proving Ground (GPG) program.
Solaria BIPV windows will be installed in a commercial pilot project in Kansas City, Missouri this year to demonstrate their viability as an aesthetic, energy generating solution. The test site slated for this pilot is a federal building in the city. Read full article HERE.

GPAD Keynote: Glazing’s Role in Energy Consumption and What Can Be Done

Buildings account for most of the energy consumption in the United States, and innovations in glass can help curb that trend. Stephen Selkowitz, senior advisor of building technology and urban systems at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, discussed the topic Tuesday during his keynote speech at Glass Processing Automation Days (GPAD).

The conference is being held at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in San Diego.

“Why are we picking on windows? Why not cars?” he asked rhetorically after opening his presentation on the issue of carbon emissions. “Well, because buildings use more energy than any other [sector] in the country.”

He pointed out that buildings use 70 percent of the U.S.’s electricity, and building energy costs are approximately $500 billion per year. Currently, windows account for approximately 4 percent of total energy use and $50 billion a year in energy cost.


Read entire article HERE.