News

November 1, 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... Read more
October 24, 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).... Read more
October 5, 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... Read more
September 27, 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 determine their energy efficiency and locate opportunities to... Read more
September 21, 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... Read more
September 14, 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... Read more
July 27, 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 The Washington Post article from July 22, 2016.... Read more
July 19, 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... Read more
June 27, 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... Read more
April 25, 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... Read more
April 14, 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 stateSan 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... Read more
April 13, 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... Read more
April 5, 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... Read more
February 25, 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.... Read more
January 11, 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 the distinction of being the first hospitality company—as well as the first company outside the... Read more
December 22, 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)... Read more
November 23, 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 /... Read more
October 21, 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... Read more
October 16, 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 billions of dollars.... Read more
August 31, 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.... Read more
April 14, 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... Read more
November 6, 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... Read more
September 27, 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... Read more
April 14, 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... Read more
April 3, 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... Read more