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Green Building News

A DOE Stimulus-Fund Favorite? NZE Research

Oak Ridge and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories are now geared up to expand their analysis of wall, roof, and framing systems, and other construction technologies

Back in November, the Department of Energy announced that it had $104 million in stimulus funds to spend on clean energy and energy efficiency research, with some of that money already committed to projects in three areas – carbon fiber materials development, battery technology research, and building systems development.

The DOE also noted it had solicited other project proposals from its stable of national laboratories and was ready to fund several other projects, including two now gearing up – one to test the energy efficiency of a variety of roof, wall, and framing systems, the other to comprehensively study net-zero-energy building systems.

The first project is being propelled by a $20.2 million DOE grant and run by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is expanding its Building Technologies Research and Integration Center to study a range of envelope systems, including different façade materials for larger structures.

The second project, funded by a $15.9 million grant, is being handled by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whose plan includes construction of three 5,000-sq.-ft. structures on the LBNL campus that will be designed for net-zero-energy performance but also feature different HVAC systems; façade, lighting, and interior design schemes; skylight placements; and building sensor-and-control configurations.

Scientists at the two labs told Architectural Record that the programs are being coordinated to avoid overlap. The LBNL project is still being finalized, according to the magazine.


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