News Center

Department of Energy’s FLEXLAB Opens Testbeds to Drive Dramatic Increase in Building Efficiency

The world’s most advanced energy efficiency test bed for buildings is open for business, launched today by U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. FLEXLAB is already signing up companies determined to reduce their energy use by testing and deploying the most energy efficient technologies as integrated systems under real-world conditions. The facility includes a rotating test bed to track and test sun exposure impacts, and other high-tech features.

Berkeley Lab-led Collaboration with China Speeds Development of Green Buildings

The U.S.–China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency Consortium (CERC-BEE), which launched three years ago has made steady progress toward the research and development of low-energy technologies for buildings, including patent applications and new product launches this year, about 100 articles published, and five demonstration projects in China that validate, fine-tune, and showcase everything from smart windows to advanced lighting controls to microgrids.

Berkeley Lab Launches Building Energy Performance Research Project at New FLEXLAB Testing Facility

The DOE’s David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, was on hand in Berkeley April 14 to tour FLEXLAB™, the Facility for Low Energy experiments in Buildings, run by Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Danielson and Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos also met with executives from construction firm Webcor. Webcor’s testing in FLEXLAB will allow its engineers to predict and improve the energy performance for a new building constructed for biotech company, Genentech. A building mockup for Genentech will be studied at different building orientations, specific to the actual construction site. As part of his visit to the Lab, Danielson also toured the Molecular Foundry.

Berkeley Lab Researcher Proposes Phones and Other Devices as Energy-Saving Tools

When is a phone not a phone? When it’s serving as an occupancy sensor for energy-saving purposes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researcher Bruce Nordman had an idea several years ago to take advantage of existing devices in office buildings by using them for energy efficiency purposes. In the United States buildings are responsible

Building Performance Database Helps Building Owners, Investors Evaluate Energy Efficient Buildings

A new database of building features and energy use data helps building managers, owners, real estate investors, and lenders evaluate the financial results of energy efficiency investment projects and identify high and low-performing buildings. The database is being developed by a Berkeley Lab team led by Paul Mathew.

What’s the cost of a healthy home?

California’s residential ventilation requirements in Title 24 (the State energy code for buildings) are designed to balance healthy home ventilation with efficient energy use, but some studies suggest that whole-house ventilation systems don’t always meet their expected performance in either category. Commissioning a systematic evaluation of the installed system to identify deficiencies and offer solutions

Berkeley Lab Breaks Ground on Flexible Design Building to Test Low-energy Systems and Components

Berkeley Lab broke ground on the start of construction for the Facility for Low-Energy eXperiments on Buildings (FLEXLAB). Like a life-size set of building blocks, FLEXLAB is the first of its kind in both size and scope, and will allow researchers and manufacturers to test building systems and components under “real-world” conditions.

Berkeley Lab and Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority Collaborate on Testing Advanced Building Technologies

Berkeley Lab, a world leader in technologies for energy-efficient buildings, has agreed to work with Singapore as that island nation pursues energy conservation and climate mitigation policies. Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Horst Simon signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the head of Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA), whose mandate covers the development of the built environment in Singapore, establishing a framework for collaborative projects in a number of areas related to advanced building technologies.

Berkeley Lab Breaks Ground on New Solar Energy Research Facility

Berkeley Lab has broken ground on its Solar Energy Research Center (SERC). The three-story structure will be nearly 40,000 sq. ft. in size and will house approximately 75 people when completed. SERC will hold the labs and offices of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis whose goal is to one day develop a solar fuel generator.

Elevated Indoor Carbon Dioxide Impairs Decision-Making Performance

Overturning decades of conventional wisdom, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that moderately high indoor concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) can significantly impair people’s decision-making performance. The results were unexpected and may have particular implications for schools and other spaces with high occupant density.