The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office (BTO) awarded $26.3 million to 40 competitively selected projects, led by 29 organizations, to pursue innovations that can advance the goals of BTO’s Advanced Building Construction with Energy-Efficient Technologies & Practices (ABC) Funding Opportunity. The funding opportunity underpins the Advanced Building Construction Initiative, one of BTO’s principal efforts to unlock deeper energy savings in the U.S. building sector, which still consumes 40% of the nation’s energy and 75% of its electricity.
Through this funding opportunity, BTO is investing in new technologies that can enable superior building energy performance, without disrupting occupant comfort, and can be deployed quickly, affordably, with minimal onsite construction in the existing building stock as well as new construction.
The following 14 projects were selected under Topic 1: Integrated Building Retrofit:
- Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York) will develop a novel overclad panel energy-efficiency retrofit with integrated heating, cooling and water heating for homes in cold/very cold climates.
- Princeton University (Mercer, New Jersey) will use dehumidifying membranes to create novel facade-integrated building screen retrofits to reduce a building’s cooling and ventilation energy use.
- Open Market ESCO LLC (Boston, Massachusetts) will focus on streamlined deep energy retrofit construction in multifamily public housing with financing, contractor, and resident collaboration.
- Home Innovation Research Labs Inc. (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) will develop a next-generation panelized wall retrofit that uses integrated vacuum-insulated panel technology.
- Rocky Mountain Institute (Boulder, Colorado) will design and fabricate an integrated mechanical system pod for whole-home panelized retrofits of multifamily buildings.
- The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees (Orlando, Florida) will create a pre-packaged, highly efficient, and resilient retrofit solution that integrates solar power to meet space heating and cooling as well as water heating needs.
- Fraunhofer USA Center for Manufacturing Innovation (Brookline, Massachusetts) will develop customizable prefabricated insulated Panel Blocks that greatly reduce the on-site labor and installed cost of high-performance exterior wall retrofits for low-rise residential buildings in cold, very cold, and mixed humid climates.
- Signetron Inc. (Berkeley, California) will streamline the building information modeling, computer aided-design, and computer-aided manufacturing conversion and workflow of panelized retrofit manufacturing for building envelope retrofits.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) (Golden, Colorado) will undertake two projects to develop:
- A zonal heat pump for whole-home panelized retrofits
- A computerized workflow for panelized retrofits including pre-retrofit data collection, panel design, off-site manufacturing, and on-site installation
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) has four projects that will:
- Design energy-efficient and moisture-durable composite overclad panels for envelope retrofits by tailoring designs for optimized use of fiber reinforcement; using recycled materials; and developing designs that enable modularization, digital manufacturing and fast assembly for quick customization
- Develop a wall-embedded multifunctional heat pump with energy storage systems for grid-responsive and weather-transactive controls
- Create a building envelope retrofit using insulation-inflatable walls assisted by automation, including robotic plastic welders and 3D-reconstruction
- Use advanced additive manufacturing techniques to customize and produce energy-efficient and moisture-durable overclad panels for building retrofits
The following seven projects were selected under Topic 2: New Construction Technologies projects:
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) will develop new sealant formulations that can be integrated and preinstalled into prefabricated components to decrease the amount of time it takes to seal joints between panels and modules at the jobsite.
- Simple Homes LLC (Denver, Colorado) will develop a new integrated process for design, manufacture, and assembly of off-site panelized construction systems that will reduce costs and construction time, and improve performance, of zero-energy-ready single-family homes.
- Gas Technology Institute (Des Plaines, Illinois) will use enhanced factory automation and an integrated information technology system for modular home production facilities to reduce the cost of high-performance homes.
- University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana) will pursue additive manufacturing of reinforced concrete structures with integrated insulation for improved energy efficiency.
- Cold Climate Housing Research Center (Fairbanks, Alaska) will develop a high-performance vacuum-insulated panel modular building system.
- Vermont Energy Investment Corp. (Burlington, Vermont) will develop a state-of-the-art zero energy modular (ZEM) home construction system, including designs for a ZEM factory and a ZEM multifamily affordable housing unit.
- Slipstream Group Inc. (Madison, Wisconsin) will evaluate and field test new approaches for delivering space heating and cooling in manufactured homes to improve energy efficiency, durability, and indoor air quality without increasing costs.