Building Technologies Office Announces $3 Million to Advance Building Automation Software Solutions in Small to Medium-Sized Commercial Buildings

March 29, 2013

The Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) today announced a funding opportunity for $3 million to fund up to three awards to develop an open source software solution for building automation systems (BASs) for small (<5,000 square feet ) to medium-sized (between 5,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet) commercial buildings. Energy consumption in small to medium-sized buildings is primarily due to the electrical loads of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting systems, and miscellaneous plugs loads. Although typically absent from small- and medium-sized buildings, significant efficiency gains can be captured through the implementation of “turn-key” BASs in these building types. 

In designing the BAS, proposals must address how it will be tested on a thermostat, a lighting controller, and a general purpose controller. The BAS should include the following components:

  • An open source architecture platform developed and tested initially at the lab scale and then in demonstration buildings; this will also require parallel development of three plug and play devices to demonstrate functionality of the platform.
  • A user-interface that showcases the open source architecture platform.
  • At least three software tools (i.e. “apps”) that are accessible through the user-interface and provide the capabilities for: control system set-up, system status display, and control system point auto-mapping.

U.S.-based applicants with multidisciplinary teams between software developers, controls/ hardware/device experts, and building managers/owners are encouraged to apply. In order to have an application considered for this award, applicants must send a concept paper no later than April 22, 2012.The full set of deadlines for this award is:

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: April 22, 2013 5:00 PM ET
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: June 24, 2013 5:00 PM ET

Read more information and application requirements for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA- 0000822).

The award is presented as a three-phased, three year initiative with formal funding decision criteria between each phase. It is expected that at the completion of the third year, the project(s) will have led to a market-ready software solution available for public release and download.