You are here

Past Projects

Photo of NREL senior engineer Eric Kozubal examining a prototype airflow channel of the desiccant enhanced evaporative (DEVap) air conditioner with a graph superimposed on the photo that shows how hot humid air, in red, changes to cool dry air, in blue, as the air passes through the DEVap core.The Building Technologies Office (BTO) research portfolio of advanced technologies, systems, tools, and strategies aimed at improving the energy performance of commercial buildings is constantly changing based on congressional direction. This page outlines some of the BTO's past research areas. For more information on these research results, visit the pages below and the Commercial Buildings Resource Database.

179D Calculator

Section 179D of the Federal Tax Code provides a tax deduction for energy efficiency improvements to commercial buildings.  BTO has developed a calculator to help building owners determine their eligibility for the tax deductions as a simple substitute for other modeling software.

Data Centers and Server Rooms

Data centers are one of the most energy intensive building types. BTO has worked to develop strategies which can be used to more efficiently design and operate these use spaces.

Global Superior Energy Performance

BTO has supported the Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) partnership, which is a multi-country effort to create and harmonize nationally accredited energy performance certifications programs.

Hospital Energy Use

BTO monitored hospital energy end uses to help facility and energy managers identify ways to save energy. This research ultimately helps hospitals improve energy efficiency, freeing up funding to improve healthcare services.

Life Cycle Inventory Database

The U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database provides data related to the total energy and resource impacts of producing a material, component, or assembly. Life cycle assessments are critical to evaluating the true environmental impact of buildings, and serve as a guide for selecting components for any project.

Performance Monitoring

BTO has worked to standardize the measurement and characterization of building energy performance through performance metrics. Reports provide guidelines to help measure, document, and evaluate energy performance.

Reference Buildings

Developed by DOE and three of its national laboratories to better inform researchers and builders working to build and renovate highly-efficient buildings, reference buildings provide complete descriptions for whole building energy analysis using EnergyPlus simulation software. These modules offer a consistent baseline of comparison and improve the value of computer energy simulations using software such as EnergyPlus.