Research using software developed at Berkeley Lab recently pinpointed actions that could help the historic canal city of Venice, Italy slash energy use and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Building operations account for a whopping 35% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. A free online tool developed by Berkeley Lab with support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) — the Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) — is helping to bring that number down by virtually evaluating buildings for immediate no- and low-cost energy efficiency upgrades.
Since buildings consume 75% of electricity in the U.S., they offer great potential for saving energy and reducing the demands on our rapidly changing electric grid. But how much, where, and through which strategies could better management of building energy use actually impact the electricity system?
Windows make up 7% of the envelope area of a home but can account for 47% of the envelope heat loss. High-performance windows thus represent a significant opportunity for consumers to be more comfortable and save money – and help reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions while doing so.
Heating and cooling buildings is a large part of global energy demand and a significant source of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, and in the coming decades the energy demand for heating and cooling – also known as thermal energy – is expected to grow considerably. Scientists and engineers have made many advances in lowering
One hundred and four U.S. companies, schools, governments, and institutions are taking their building energy savings to a new level with the Department of Energy’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, a four-year initiative funded through the Building Technologies Office and facilitated by Berkeley Lab.
Buildings account for a whopping 40% of total U.S. energy consumption, and windows are responsible for approximately 10% of that. High thermal performance windows reduce combined heating and cooling energy consumption of typical single family homes in California by up to 50% compared to existing single-pane windows, which are still found in 6.5 million, or
Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts.
A study by scientists at Berkeley Lab modeled several different types and ages of homes, retail stores, and office buildings in cities across California and the U.S. and found that sunlight-reflecting “cool” exterior walls can save as much or more energy than sunlight-reflecting cool roofs in many places.
Berkeley Lab indoor air experts Brett Singer and Woody Delp advise: stay indoors, consider a mask, limit activities, use air filtration systems, or even build your own.