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Research Tracker

This tool is intended for researchers and program managers to quickly find research projects around the country that are relevant to their work. The four organizations who provided content for this purpose represent the largest energy efficient buildings research portfolios in the country. These organizations each provided the content that they were comfortable sharing publically. Therefore, upon clicking on a particular project, it is possible that certain pieces of content are not present. Where possible, a point of contact is provided so that specific questions can be directed to that person. We welcome your comments! If you would like to provide any feedback on this tool (positive or constructive) please email basc@pnnl.gov.

The Industrial Science & Technology Network, Inc. will develop an environmentally clean, cost-effective building insulation with superior performance. Commercialization of this technology would reduce U.S. energy consumption related to building envelope components by 7%, equal to $8 billion in annual economic savings.

Argonne National Laboratory will develop an acoustic method of measuring the infiltration of a building envelope. The method will enable infiltration measurement of all buildings, which could lead to decreased building energy use.

The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems will develop a plastic foam for use in U.S. buildings that is less expensive, mechanically stronger, and more environmentally friendly than current options. This foam will satisfy fire safety codes without the need for fire retardants and is easy to install.

The project effort is a two-year development program focused on isocyanurate-based nanofoam for building and industrial applications. The main target of this early stage innovation project is to develop a PIR-based super insulation at atmospheric pressure (SIAP) that (1) can attain an R-12 hrft2F/Btuin (_=12 mW/mK) via creating nanoporous morphology, (2) is mechanically robust and (3) is cost-competitive to the conventional rigid foam boards.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will develop a low-cost window coating that allows infrared (heat) penetration in cooler temperatures but switches to reflect infrared waves in warmer temperatures. This coating has the potential to save up to 2.24 quads/year in heating, cooling, and lighting energy use.

PPG Industries, Inc. will develop a process to produce cheaper, stronger vacuum insulating glazings (VIGs), which are used to make windows more energy efficient. This process could lead to increased adoption of VIGs in windows, which would lead to significant energy savings.

PPG Industries, Inc. will develop high-performing dark-colored pigments for use in cool roof coatings. These pigments would satisfy customers' demand for dark-colored cool roofs and lead to 0.17 quads of energy savings annually.

This project will develop, validate and quantify energy impacts of a new generation of high performance facade systems and provide the design and management toolkits that will enable the building industry to meet challenging energy performance goals leading to net zero buildings by 2030. Building envelope technologies can be integrated into a cost-effective system that reduces energy-use associated with HVAC and lighting while improving occupant comfort. Technology development activities include highly insulating (Hi-R) windows, energy recovery-based envelope ventilation systems, and dynamic daylight redirecting systems. Supporting tools, data, and design methods will also be developed to enable widespread, reliable, cost-effective deployment throughout California.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will integrate heat and moisture transfer analysis of building envelop performance into one modeling system by adding moisture transfer to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory'es THERM engine.

Iowa State University will develop an infiltration diagnostics system that uses a laser to locally heat a portion of the building envelope, and then uses an infrared camera to pinpoint air leaks. This system is able to measure and locate leaks within a building envelope, producing an energy saving potential of about 566 TBtu by 2030.

Alcoa will develop advanced aluminum window frame technology as well as a manufacturing process for energy-saving commercial window systems that use the technology. Use of these windows in new and existing commercial buildings would drive progress toward national energy savings goals.

The objective of the research is to test the energy performance and demand reduction capabilities of phase change material (PCM) in conditioned buildings at a USAR site. PCM is a substance used to increase the thermal mass of a building due to its ability to melt and solidify at certain temperatures, providing the capability to store and release large amounts of thermal energy. PCM works in conjunction with traditional insulation to decrease heat gain (or loss) by storing and releasing heat to the conditioned space at different times of the day

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will develop a thin insulation material that demonstrates comparable performance to existing insulation technology. ORNL estimates the energy savings potential of this insulation to be 1,319 TBtu for retrofit-only commercial roof and residential wall applications.

This project will explore reversible electroplating of metal and low-resistance transparent conductors with micro copper grids to develop low-cost dynamic windows with faster switching speeds.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory will develop insulation that is 2 to 4 times more efficient than conventional materials and at a comparable installed cost. This insulation technology has the potential of reaching an installed cost of $2.00 per square foot for R-12/inch and targets a technical potential of 1.7 quads.

Heating and cooling represents the greatest energy consumption in buildings. This agreement develops thermal building insulation material with high R-value at a cost competitive to conventional insulation materials. The expected result provides a significant increase in energy efficiency for retrofitting buildings.

This project involved researching the feasibility of commercial "humidity sponges", which could help even out daily and multi-day fluctuations of relative humidity in building spaces. This proof of concept study investigated the wicking and water vapor transfer properties of several materials, in addition to the topology and material properties of the structures termites use to manage humidity in their colonies. The project completed with a market analysis, in order to better understand the marketplace for passive or transient building controls in the energy-efficient dehumidification market space.

This project researched new phase change materials (PCM) to store thermal energy for wall assemblies, and develop associated software tools. Heat is absorbed or released when the materials change from solid to liquid or vice versa. PCMs absorb thermal energy and they can reduce the need for heating and cooling in some buildings. Their impact is similar to that of adding thermal mass to the building. Unlike air conditioning systems, they require no maintenance. The use of PCMs and associated software tools can contribute to zero net energy commercial buildings by reducing the energy needs of a building through passive design.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will develop high-performing vacuum insulation for use on installed windows. This technology could offer an alternative to replacing existing windows with highly insulting windows and save 2 - 3 quads of energy annually.

The goal is to develop a minimally invasive retrofit insulation technology for enclosed roof cavities such as cathedral ceilings, flat roofs, and dormer roofs.