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February 28th 2018
Universities across the United States have set ambitious goals to shrink their carbon footprints, including the University of California, which launched its Carbon Neutrality Initiative in 2013, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2025. But amid broad support for climate action within the UC system, a big question looms: how to actually hit that target. Now, a 27-member team uniquely comprised of researchers, facilities managers, sustainability... Read More
February 7th 2018
Berkeley Lab recently hosted a workshop where 43 faculty members from 32 colleges participated in activities designed to generate ideas for enhancing post-secondary level programs in commercial Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC), energy management and building automation. This was one day of a four-day annual institute held by the Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow Center (BEST) on January 4, 2018. The institute, funded... Read More
January 11th 2018
Buildings of the future will operate from models that look at all the factors – outside temperature, the temperature desired inside, how many people are in the building and a number of other set points – to heat and cool buildings in the most energy-efficient manner possible. That was the crux of a recent presentation by Mary Ann Piette, director of the Building Technology & Urban Systems Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In... Read More
November 15th 2017
Gerald Robinson recently received a 2017 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for his work as part of a federal team that developed an innovative, multi-agency contract solution that saved the government millions of dollars. In the picture, Robinson is  fourth from the right. Robinson worked with several agencies to conduct the first-ever aggregated procurement for on-site solar PV arrays. By pooling their buying power, the agencies made... Read More
October 30th 2017
Energy Technology Area researchers ​made extensive contributions to the International Energy Agency's Energy Efficiency 2017 Report.  A major focus of the report’s chapter on industrial energy efficiency is ISO 50001 - the internationally developed framework for managing energy as a business practice. Research led by Peter Therkelsen and Berkeley Lab​'​s Industrial Applications Team provided quantitative evidence of the benefits being realized... Read More
October 24th 2017
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
Portrait of Sam Fernandes
September 29th 2017
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
September 22nd 2017
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
September 11th 2017
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
The Cool Roof Time Machine Team with their 2016 R&D 100 Award
September 6th 2017
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
July 12th 2017
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
 Cindy Regnier, Executive Manager, of FLEXLAB®, gave a presentation to the group.
June 29th 2017
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
June 2nd 2017
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
June 2nd 2017
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
Road construction with fresh asphalt (Credit: wabeno/iStock)
May 18th 2017
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
April 26th 2017
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
BEST Institute participants in San Francisco
March 1st 2017
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
The Portable Window Energy Meter
December 9th 2016
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
Christopher Payne
November 15th 2016
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
Berkeley Lab research associate Sharon Chen sprays roofing material with soiling mixture in a lab method that simulates the aging of roofing materials. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)
November 9th 2016
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
November 8th 2016
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
Christian Kohler teaching school children to code.
November 1st 2016
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
Interior of one of the FLEXLAB's testbeds
October 24th 2016
"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).
Aerial view of the FLEXLAB® with Mount Tam in the distance.
October 5th 2016
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
Charlie Curcija (center)
September 27th 2016
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
September 21st 2016
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
THERM Sample Color Infrared Results
September 14th 2016
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
Residential air conditioning units
July 27th 2016
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
A kerosene lantern illuminates this night market in Tanzania.
July 19th 2016
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 researchers (from left) Dale Sartor, Arman Shehabi, Richard Brown, and Sarah Smith
June 27th 2016
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

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