U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Building Technologies Office


Around the Building Technologies Office - May

Connect with the Building Technologies Office (BTO) information that interests you—program events and news, financial opportunities, and industry events.

Upcoming BTO Webinars:

Whole-Building Energy Modeling: Reducing Modeling Time with the OpenStudio 0.8 User Interface and the Building Component Library

When: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:00–1:30 p.m. ET
View the webinar materials.

Description: The webinar will outline recent improvements to NREL and DOE's free open-platform energy modeling software, OpenStudio. This webinar will preview OpenStudio version 0.8, which features integration with the Building Component Library, an on-line repository of reusable components for rapid and consistent energy modeling. The presenters will demonstrate a complete and easy-to-use modeling workflow using the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in and the stand-alone OpenStudio application.


  • Nicholas Long, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • David Goldwasser, NREL

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Buildings News:

May 10Competition Inspires Universities to Develop Energy Efficient Appliances and Commercial Equipment
This program challenges university students to design highly efficient, next-generation appliances and commercial equipment.

May 8Energy Department Announces Guide for 50% More Energy Efficient Hospitals
This guide will help architects, engineers, and contractors design and build highly efficient hospital buildings, helping to save energy and cut facility operational costs.

April 30Energy Department Launches Online Tool to Help Consumers Save Money on Energy Bills
The Utility Data Access Map tool is an interactive Web platform that enables electric utilities across the country to show customers the data they can access on their electricity use.

April 27HVAC Efficiency Controls Could Mean Significant Savings
Commercial building owners can save an average of 38% on their heating and cooling bills by installing a few new controls onto their HVAC systems.

April 25A Technology Breakthrough for Geothermal
This unit could provide space conditioning and all domestic hot water needs while consuming at least 50% less energy than conventional equipment.

March 20Ball State University Completes Nation's Largest Ground-Source Geothermal System with Support from Recovery Act
Ball State University anticipates the system will save $2 million annually in operating costs and cut its carbon footprint by nearly 50%.

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Financial Opportunities:

Title: RFI: HVACR to Home Performance Contractor Expansion into Whole House Residential EE Services

Required: Full Application

Due Date: June 1, 2012

Description: The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from all parties on how DOE can best support the expansion of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) contractors into residential whole-house energy efficiency services, either through new initiatives or by building upon existing "HVACR to Home Performance" efforts underway within the industry.

More information and the full RFI.


Title: Energy Savings through Improved Mechanical Systems and Building Envelope Technologies

Required: Full Application

Due Date: June 12, 2012

Description: The focus of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to develop specifically-identified technologies for buildings that are cost effective and can have a tremendous impact on energy savings overall and lead to a market-ready solution (e.g. at the commercial prototype phase) within five years of project launch. Projects must credibly demonstrate how the proposed technologies will meet the targets specified in the sub-topic descriptions. Projects under this FOA must be aimed at more than progress toward identified project goals; the project must be aimed at actual delivery of these project goals.

More information.


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Buildings Industry Events Calendar:

June 13-142012 DOE Solid-State Lighting Manufacturing R&D Workshop
Gain cutting-edge perspective on manufacturing issues related to LED and OLED lighting.

June 26Building Envelope R&D Meeting
Hear the latest building envelope project updates as well as discuss the future goals and priorities for the building envelope R&D area of DOE.

June 26-27Better Buildings Summit for State & Local Communities

Join Better Buildings Challenge Partners and fellow public leaders in Denver, Colorado to learn what's currently working to reduce energy consumption, create jobs, and save on the operating costs of commercial buildings. Interactive sessions will cover topics such as portfolio-wide energy management, successful public-private collaborations, policy development, available technical assistance, financing options, and much more.

Who should attend: Managers of state and local energy programs, school districts, or other related public sector offices.

Focus: Building sustainable programs for public commercial buildings.

June 26Building Envelope R&D Meeting
Hear the latest building envelope project updates as well as discuss the future goals and priorities for the building envelope R&D area of DOE.

June 28Window Technology R&D Meeting
Hear the latest window project updates as well as discuss the future goals and priorities for the building windows R&D area of DOE.

July 9-11Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions: From Innovation to Market Transformation

Residential buildings account for over 20% of the energy used in the United States. That's why the Energy Department invites administrators and implementers of residential energy efficiency programs to attend this two and a half-day event. During meetings attendees will:

  • Showcase innovations, highlight accomplishments, and spark connections across residential energy efficiency programs.
  • Capture and share diverse program implementation solutions, strategies, and techniques.
  • Highlight effective approaches to residential energy efficiency market transformation.

Who should attend: Administrators and implementers of residential energy efficiency programs, including state and local governments, utilities, non-governmental organizations, Better Buildings Neighborhood Program grant recipients, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Sponsors, Home Energy Score Partners, and others.

Focus: Sharing and learning about solutions for residential energy efficiency program.

July 17-19SSL Market Introduction Workshop
Join DOE at the seventh annual Solid State Lighting Market Introduction Workshop to keep up with a market in motion.

July 24-26Building America Technical Update Meeting
Join DOE at the seventh annual Solid State Lighting Market Introduction Workshop to keep up with a market in motion.

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