Building Technologies Research & Integration Center
Reducing the energy consumption of the nation's buildings and resulting carbon emissions is essential to achieving a sustainable clean energy future. To address the enormous challenge, ORNL is focused on helping develop new building technologies, whole-building and community integration, improved energy management in buildings and industrial facilities during their operational phase, and market transformations in all of these areas.
Minimizing the energy/carbon footprint of the nation's buildings sector is essential for tackling climate change and will be an enormous challenge. Buildings account for 39% of U.S. carbon emissions and the consumption of 40% of the nation's total primary energy, 73% of electricity, and 55% of natural gas (34% of natural gas excluding gas used to generate electricity consumed in buildings). The importance of buildings is amplified because renewable energy applications such as photovoltaic electricity generation, day lighting, solar water heating, and geothermal (ground-source) space conditioning and water heating are most economical when using buildings as their deployment platforms.
Staff expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and supporting management of a variety of specialized groups enable the center’s research efforts, while the program office within the center administratively coordinates multidisciplinary projects, drawing resources from across the Laboratory.
Much of ORNL’s building technology research falls under ORNL’s Clean Energy science area which is organizationally located within the Energy and Transportation Science Division. The mission of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Energy and Transportation Science Division is to develop and deploy knowledge and technology that enables the transformation of our energy systems in a manner that allows America to achieve energy independence, energy security, global economic leadership, and environmental sustainability. ETSD also houses the Building Technologies Program Office, which administratively facilitates the integration of ORNL research across disciplines to support federally- and privately-funded research.
ORNL buildings research is directed and funded primarily by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, specifically the Building Technologies Program. The Federal Energy Management Program, Geothermal Technologies Program, Advanced Manufacturing Office,Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, Policy and International Affairs, Concentrating Solar Power Program, Sustainability Performance Office, and other partners also support ORNL’s research to develop new building technologies.