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Buildings Blog

May 10, 2016
Good Vibrations: No Heat Needed for Ultrasonic Dryers

With support from the Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and GE Appliances are changing the way Americans do laundry with their ultrasonic drying technology that uses vibrations, not heat, to dry fabric.

May 5, 2016
Amped Up! magazine features the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s growing influence on the efficiency space from appliance standards and federal sustainability goals to smart manufacturing and energy audit webisodes. | Graphic by Sarah Harmon/Energy Department
Product Standards Team Saves American Consumers Energy, Money

The latest issue of EERE's Amped Up! magazine takes a closer look at the standards developed for home and work products – ranging from light bulbs, to kitchen appliances, to laundry equipment, to heating and cooling systems – that are saving Americans more energy and money every year.

March 8, 2016
Heating and air conditioning – an $11 billion industry in America - accounts for 5% of domestic energy use. By reducing contaminant buildup, a new technology could increase efficiency by as much as 25%. Photo courtesy: ©iStockphoto/JaniceRichard.
Berkeley Joins the Cleantech University Prize

Heating and air conditioning -- an $11 billion industry in America -- accounts for 5% of domestic energy use. A new technology showcased at the Energy Department's Cleantech University Prize competition has the potential to significantly cut down on appliance degradation and increase efficiency.

January 20, 2015
Sefaira has a new product (bottom image) that uses EnergyPlus peak loads analysis and equipment sizing capabilities to allow mechanical engineers to quickly explore and compare multiple HVAC systems (top image). Photos courtesy of Sefaira and Shutterstock
Sefaira Launches EnergyPlus-Based Early Stage Design Tool For Mechanical Engineers

Building energy modeling—computer simulation of building energy use given a description of its architecture, lighting and mechanical systems, occupancy and use, and local weather— is a powerful tool for architects and mechanical engineers. Energy modeling supports the design of buildings that operate at significantly higher levels of energy efficiency for little or no upfront costs.

September 25, 2014
One Sky Homes, San Jose, CA, Custom Builder, Grand Award Winner. | California prides itself on energy efficiency, so achieving the designation of first net zero energy new home builder in the state is an honor indeed.
Housing Innovation Awards Recognize Leadership in Residential Efficiency

Today’s housing market is incredibly competitive. Constructing homes that sell and that continue to delight homeowners for years to come is a challenge.

Motivated, leading-edge builders are using innovative energy-saving solutions and strategies to differentiate themselves and their products by building zero energy-ready homes. These high-performance homes are so efficient they can offset most or all annual energy consumption with a simple renewable energy system, like solar.

April 29, 2014
Inspiring and Building the Next Generation of Residential Energy Professionals

Energy Department's Challenge Home Student Design Competition aims to inspire the next generation of architects, engineers, construction managers, and entrepreneurs to design homes that meet requirements for zero energy ready performance that are affordable and market-ready.

April 14, 2014
Dr. David Danielson,  Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (second from left), tours FLEXLAB with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory officials in California today. FLEXLAB is the only facility in the nation that allows researchers and industry partners to conduct full-scale outdoor tests of integrated building systems in a fully reconfigurable “plug-in-play” space.  | Photo courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Innovative Facility Kicks Off First Experiment to Transform Building Energy Performance

Find out how the Energy Department is working to improve the energy efficiency, design, construction and operation of high-performance commercial buildings through research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's new FLEXLAB, Facility for Low Energy Experiments in Buildings.

December 12, 2013
A worker caulks the exterior of a home window. Advanced window framing techniques can help homeowners save energy and money. | Photo courtesy of Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Center
3 Innovations That Are Transforming America’s Home Building Industry

The Energy Department’s Building America program provides practical guidance and research to assist housing professionals transform our nation’s housing stock into energy-efficient, state-of-the-art models for businesses and homeowners. Applying building-science solutions will improve energy performance and quality of new and existing homes.

December 9, 2013
A three-part Energy Department-funded study indicates LEDs are more environmentally friendly than compact fluorescent and incandescent lights. | Energy Department graphic
Study: Environmental Benefits of LEDs Greater Than CFLs

Final results of a three-part Energy Department-funded study found that LEDs have less negative environmental impacts than incandescent bulbs and a slight edge over CFLs.

December 5, 2013
Industry and government officials discuss the Better Buildings Challenge expansion at the White House earlier this week. | Photo courtesy of Department of Housing and Urban Development
Better Buildings Challenge is Expanding, Improving Energy Efficiency Throughout America

With more than 120 participants, the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge is making America more sustainable by transforming how organizations improve energy performance at facilities throughout the country all while saving money and creating jobs.

November 21, 2013
EnergyPlus Boosts Building Efficiency with Help from Autodesk

Autodesk has translated EnergyPlus’ 600,000 lines of computer code into C++, one of the world’s most popular programming languages. The change increases accessibility of EnergyPlus to many more developers, who can customize their own programs to identify potential energy savings in buildings throughout the country.

November 5, 2013
The Building Technologies Office’s Emerging Technologies Program works to advance new commerical building technologies that are expected to reach the marketplace in five years or less. | Photo of National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Research Support Facility by Dennis Schroeder, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Cutting-Edge Building Technologies Offer Big Energy Savings Potential

The Energy Department's Building Technologies Office partners with national laboratories, industry, and universities to advance research, development, and commercialization activities for projects expected to reach the marketplace in five years or less.

November 1, 2013
The Energy Systems Integrations Facility at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado has received a LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum designation for new construction by the U.S. Green Building Council. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Energy Department’s New Laboratory at NREL Earns LEED Platinum

The Energy Systems Integrations Facility (ESIF) at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum designation.

October 23, 2013
This year's SSL Market Introduction Workshop will take place in Portland, Oregon. | Photo courtesy of Travel Portland
Keeping Pace with LED Lighting Trends

This year’s Solid State Lighting Market Introduction Workshop, to be held November 13-14 in Portland, Oregon, will include expert guidance from industry leaders and the Energy Department's national laboratories.