Latest Stories

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
Both loaded and unloaded roof racks create drag.
April 25th 2016
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
A female shopper pushing a cart in front of the Whole Foods Market logo.
April 14th 2016
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
Growth of Devices with Standby and Network Power
April 13th 2016
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
Screenshot of PPG Industries’ online tool, Construct.
April 5th 2016
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
Eleven glass bottles painted with the window coating.
February 25th 2016
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
Washington Hilton: SEP Platinum Certified Credit: Hilton Worldwide.
January 11th 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy’s 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. In December 2015, Hilton Worldwide gained... Read More
December 22nd 2015
New Berkeley Lab study uses regional climate model to compare heat waves to normal summer conditions. It is well established that white roofs can help mitigate the urban heat island effect, reflecting the sun’s energy back into space and reducing a city’s temperature under normal weather conditions. In a new study of Guangzhou, China, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers working with Chinese scientists found that... Read More
Jessica Granderson
November 23rd 2015
Jessica Granderson, Research Scientist and Deputy of Research Programs for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab’s) Building Technology and Urban Systems Division, has been honored with a Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Award in the area of Research Leadership. This is the fourth year that the awards have been presented at the annual U.S. Department of Energy / MIT Clean Energy Symposium to mid-career women leaders... Read More
TechWomen at Berkeley Lab, Oct 2015
October 21st 2015
"You are literally changing the world, and I am honored to be part of it, even if for few hours" said Arwa Guesmi, from Tunisia after her visit to Berkeley Lab. Guesmi is an Emerging Leader (EL) at the U.S. Department of State's TechWomen program. Nine TechWomen ELs from seven countries visited Berkeley Lab on October 14th to learn more about energy research and green technology. The visiting group was hosted by the Energy Technologies Area (ETA... Read More
October 16th 2015
When Meeting of the Minds participants visit Berkeley Lab’s FLEXLAB®, they won’t just see the world’s most advanced buildings efficiency test bed. They’ll also learn how the Global Partnership Alliance’s Integrated Systems, Guaranteed Performance, and iBOS initiatives are conjoining to transform commercial building energy efficiency, potentially saving... Read More
Evan Mills
August 31st 2015
Berkeley Lab energy analysis finds gaming computers consume $10 billion in electricity per year. In the world of computer gaming, bragging rights are accorded to those who can boast of blazing-fast graphics cards, the most powerful processors, the highest-resolution monitors, and the coolest decorative lighting. They are not bestowed upon those crowing about the energy efficiency of their system. If they were, gaming computers worldwide might... Read More
Sharon Chen sprays roofing material with soiling mixture.
April 14th 2015
Standards body approves Berkeley Lab’s method to mimic natural soiling of roofing materials. Cool roofs can help keep buildings cool, thus lowering the building’s energy use, while also mitigating the urban heat island effect by reflecting sunlight away from buildings and cities. But as cool roofs age and get soiled, how much of their reflectance do they lose? A collaboration led by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley... Read More
November 6th 2014
A new website intended to help architects, building engineers, and manufacturers develop and make better use of energy-efficient glazing and façade systems in commercial buildings is now available. Developed by the Windows and Envelope Materials Group of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), "Low Energy, High Performance Building Façade Solutions" is designed to help the... Read More
September 27th 2014
How cool is your roof? If you live in the California cities of Bakersfield, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Jose, you may be able to find out. Scientists from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created an interactive map that displays the solar reflectance (also known as albedo) of individual roofs in these five West Coast cities. You can check out the map at... Read More
A house flooded up to the bottom of its windows.
April 14th 2014
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group III, addressing the mitigation of climate change, has issued an executive summary of its Fifth Assessment report. The report updates policymakers on the technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change, including technologies and policies that can reduce impacts. According to its website, "The IPCC Working Group III assesses all relevant options for mitigating climate change... Read More
Stephen Selkowitz
April 3rd 2014
The editors of Engineering News-Record magazine have given Stephen Selkowitz is the 2014 Award of Excellence "for relentlessly working to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and for moving the nation toward better building performance, as well as for being the master of commercializing energy-efficient building technologies and the mastermind of FLEXLAB®," the Facility for Low-Energy eXperiments in Buildings located at... Read More
Tianzhen Hong
March 3rd 2014
It is well-documented that prodigious amounts of energy and money have been saved by energy-efficient building technologies. California alone has saved billions of dollars, prevented tons of pollutants, and avoided having to build additional power plants thanks to its efficiency efforts. Still, the effectiveness of these technologies is dependent on building occupants not only using them, but using them properly. How much of an effect occupant... Read More
Looking south over lower New York City.
January 8th 2014
Green Light New York and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have partnered to develop a pair of "Living Lab" demonstration projects that will deploy innovative lighting, daylighting and shading systems in working New York City office spaces. The team has secured the participation of two Fortune 100 companies, each of which have committed to using an individual floor of their flagship NYC buildings as test beds for high performance systems.... Read More
December 14th 2013
See below for a link to "Cool Roofs Rising" from Ensia, an online magazine from the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.
Example of a small data center
October 23rd 2013
October-November Special Focus: Energy Efficiency, Buildings, and the Electric Grid Fifty-seven percent of U.S. servers are housed in server closets, server rooms, and localized data centers, in what are commonly referred to as small server rooms, which comprise 99.3 percent of all server spaces in the U.S. While many mid-tier and enterprise-class data centers are owned by large corporations that consider energy efficiency a... Read More
Honda smart home
October 22nd 2013
October-November Special Focus: Energy Efficiency, Buildings, and the Electric Grid Honda Motor Company Inc is proceeding with plans to build a Smart Home in Davis, California, to demonstrate the latest in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. The home is expected to produce more energy than is consumed, demonstrating how the goal of “zero net energy” can be met in the near term future. A ventilation controller... Read More
Raymond Weitekamp, Arman Shehabi and Stephen Selkowitz in Windows Lab
October 17th 2013
The 40th anniversary of the founding of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Berkeley Lab is November 1, 2013. Every Thursday during October, we’ll look back at a significant energy-efficient technology developed by EETD and its research partners. This Week EETD has developed energy-efficient technologies that are all around you, saving energy in your home and workplace. One of those is the low-e, or low-emissivity, energy-efficient... Read More
Figure 1. Miscellaneous electric loads (MELs) distribution in sample office buil
October 1st 2013
October-November Special Focus: Energy Efficiency, Buildings, and the Electric Grid 'Other' is the fastest growing energy use in residential and commercial buildings—devices such as computers, displays, printers and other office equipment, as well as small household appliances ranging from kitchen electrics like coffee makers, toasters, and mixers to fans, clocks and portable space heaters. To energy researchers these devices... Read More
September 29th 2013
PORTLAND – On hot summer days, 74-year-old HelenRuth Stephens doesn't dare leave her apartment. Not to get the mail or take out the trash. "You don't do it because you'll be breathless by the time you get back," she says. She suffers from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Both affect her lungs. Hot weather drains her energy, she says, and makes it hard for her to breathe. Stephens is the type of person public health officials... Read More
Stephen Selkowitz
September 26th 2013
Building4change, a website that addresses to sustainability, innovation and best practice in the built environment, has named 13 people as Stars of Building Science Virtual Academy of Excellence for the year 2013. One of them is Stephen Selkowitz of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Cited as an “internationally recognized expert in window technologies, façade systems and daylighting,” Selkowitz was also the Head of EETD’s former... Read More
Outdoor view of the windows testbed facility.
September 4th 2013
Daylighting is the strategy of admitting light from the sun and sky to reduce use of electric lighting in buildings. Since lighting energy use represents 13 percent of the total primary energy used by buildings in the United States or 5.42 quadrillion Btus in 2010, these technologies can play a significant role towards meeting U.S. and state energy-efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. Conventional windows cannot provide useful... Read More