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Mary Ann Piette, director of the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division and of the Demand Response Research Center at Berkeley Lab, recently spoke at UC Berkeley about building efficiency. Below is an excerpt and video of her talk.
Our homes and buildings consume huge amounts of energy — up to 40 percent of all energy use in the U.S. Research at Berkeley Lab has greatly boosted energy efficiency in buildings, from new lighting... Read More
A group of officials from the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) recently visited Berkeley Lab to tour FLEXLAB® and meet with scientists about ongoing research.
The visitors were brought here by Sam Fernandes, program manager in Building Technology & Urban Systems. Fernandes was part of the first San Francisco CELI Fellowship cohort and completed the leadership program at the Institute in June 2017. CELI officials later... Read More
The Energy Technology Areas' Industrial Applications team recently contributed to the development of NSF 426, an international standard for environmental leadership in the design and manufacture of computer servers. It includes criteria for certification to ISO5001, which supports market-driven adoption of energy management best practices in manufacturing supply chains.
On Friday, Sept. 8, NSF International published NSF 426-2017, an... Read More
Scientific Engineering Associate Arian Aghajanzadeh, of the Building & Industrial Applications Department at Berkeley Lab, has been selected to participate in the highly competitive Clean Energy Leadership Institute's Fall 2017 Fellowship Training Program.
The Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) is a leadership development organization based in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area. CELI provides early career professionals... Read More
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... Read More
By using advanced lighting and automated shades, scientists from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that occupants on one floor of a high-rise office building in New York City were able to reduce lighting energy usage by nearly 80 percent in some areas.
The dramatic results emerged at a "living laboratory" set up to test four sets of technologies on one 40,000 square-foot floor of a building.... Read More
Scientist Peter Therkelson organized a recent visit by the Association of Energy Service Providers (AESP) to the Energy Technologies Area at Berkeley Lab.
AESP leaders Patsy Dugger from CB& and Karen Maos from Navigant also facilitated the visit.
Seven LBNL speakers gave presentations, and the group enjoyed FLEXLAB® tours.
Approximately 25 attendees from AESP, representing 15 organizations, were at the May visit.
Speakers were:... Read More
Two projects on residential buildings will help state meet targets for low-energy buildings.
California has established ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings, including a policy goal for all new residential buildings to be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020. Now the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has launched two projects to help the state meet its ZNE building goals.
One project will... Read More
The knowledge and expertise of a seasoned energy efficiency professional has been packed into a high-tech suitcase.
The Sensor Suitcase is a portable case that contains easy-to-use sensors and other equipment that make it possible for anyone to identify energy-saving opportunities in small commercial buildings. The automated and reusable system combines hardware and software in one package so its users can identify cost-effective measures that... Read More
Berkeley Lab finds that the choice of pavement material can significantly impact carbon emissions, creates decision tool for cities to use
Cool pavements can help keep cities cool, right? Yes, but according to new research from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), many reflective pavements have some unexpected drawbacks relative to conventional pavements when considering the entire life cycle of the... Read More
For the past 40 years, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) has been partnered with the window industry to help save American consumers money in energy costs by pioneering new energy-efficient windows, design tools, and window-rating systems.
The lab worked closely with window manufacturers and the building industry to develop, produce, validate, and deploy energy-saving low-emissivity or "low-E" coatings. Today more than 50% of window sales in... Read More
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... Read More
Researchers from the United States and Brazil have developed a new device that can reduce energy losses in buildings by measuring and assessing the energy performance of windows without removing them from their site. The Portable Window Energy Meter, still in prototype stage, was developed by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and from Brazil’s... Read More
While growing up in Fresno, California, Lab researcher Christopher Payne dreamt of becoming a particle physicist.
But as the only child of a single mother with a limited income, he wasn't sure how he would pay for college. Payne thought he'd have to put his scientific pursuits on hold until one afternoon, during his sophomore year of high school, he received a letter from Carleton College, a liberal arts school in Northfield, Minnesota. He had... Read More
Two projects within the Energy Technologies Area won honors at the 2016 R&D 100 Awards, an international science and technology competition. The research — Cool Roof Time Machine and... Read More
EAEI researchers Hugo Destaillats and Tom Kirchstetter are part of a team that won a 2016 R&D100 Award for their work on the Cool Roof Time Machine project.
This research establishes a method to simulate soiling and weathering of roofing material, reproducing in the lab in only a few days what would naturally take three years. This “cool roof... Read More
One Sunday evening, in 2007, Christian Kohler and his dinner date, Jina Shah, were presented with a most unusual check at Karma Kitchen, a monthly experiment in "pay it forward" dining served by volunteers at the Taste of the Himalayas, an Indian/Nepalese restaurant in downtown Berkeley.
The price of their meal? Zero dollars. But it came with a karmic twist. They could pay it forward by paying for someone else's meal, volunteering at the... Read More
"Building Below Zero," narrated by actor Ted Danson, examines buildings that produce and store more energy than they consume. In the film, Lab Deputy Director Horst Simon and ETA's Cindy Regnier discuss FLEXLAB® and its ability to test energy efficient technologies before going to the marketplace (begins at about 13:30).
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are celebrating the second anniversary of the Department of Energy's FLEXLAB®, one of the world's most advanced facilities for studying the energy performance of building systems.
FLEXLAB — Facility for Low-Energy Experiments in Buildings — completed its first two years in operation with partners from industry, universities, public utilities and federal agencies. Nine new projects... Read More
Launched in 2014, EERE International’s South Africa Clean Energy Project brings together experts from the U.S. and South Africa, including Lab researchers, led by ETA’s Charlie Curcija (center). They use DOE-developed software to analyze typical building structures in South Africa, specifically looking at the building envelope to... Read More
Elementary school science teaches us that in the sun, dark colors get hot while white stays cool. Now new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) 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.
The researchers tested this concept by coloring cool roof coatings with ruby red (aluminum oxide doped with... Read More
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, all developed in the Lab's Energy Technologies Area (ETA), will help meet the DOE goal to reduce the energy intensity of... Read More
While air conditioning temporarily cools, it’s making our world hotter. According to Berkeley Lab researchers, a crash program to maintain or establish three shade trees per building and make all roofs and pavement in U.S. cities reflective could decrease national cooling demand by 20 percent by driving temperatures lower.
For more, read... Read More
Berkeley Lab study assesses employment impact of widespread conversion to solar-LED lighting in developing countries.
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)... Read More
Berkeley Lab report is first comprehensive energy analysis of data centers in nearly 10 years.
As the number of data centers continues to increase in the United States, the good news is that they are becoming much more energy efficient. A new report from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that electricity consumption by data centers nationwide, after rising rapidly for more than a decade,... Read More
Berkeley Lab study finds roof racks responsible for almost 1 percent of national fuel consumption.
As you get ready to hit the road this summer, with the kids loaded inside and the bikes strapped to the roof of your car, you may want to stop and consider that the roof rack on your car may be costing you as much as 25 percent more in gas.
In the first study of its kind, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researcher Alan Meier,... Read More
Project funded by $3M California Energy Commission grant will convert an existing grocery store to scalable near-zero net energy — serving as a model for stores throughout the state
San Francisco, CA — The California Energy Commission awarded a $3 million grant to the MarketZero Project — an effort to convert an existing San Francisco Whole Foods Market to Zero Net Energy (ZNE). The MarketZero project targets one of the "final frontiers... Read More
New technologies could significantly improve energy efficiency of televisions, gaming computers, pool pumps, and a variety of other plug loads.
Plug loads, or devices that plug into the wall, are responsible for at least 25 percent of electricity use in California buildings. And not only is that percentage growing, it’s a hard number to manage since “plug loads” include hundreds of device types—from small appliances to electronics to lighting—... Read More
About 10% of the energy used in U.S. buildings—approximately 4 quads a year—compensates for energy lost through windows. To address this inefficiency, architects, engineers, and home-builders are advocating the use of high-performance windows, which are composed of insulated glass units (IGUs) that combine multiple panes, thin film coatings, and special gas fills between the panes, and insulating frames to lessen unwanted heat transfer while... Read More
Low-cost coating would disrupt the building retrofit market and potentially save billions in electricity.
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... Read More