The U.S. Department of Energy announced that up to $33.5 million in funding is available for early-stage research and development of advanced building construction techniques to reduce energy bills.
“Together, America’s 118 million homes and 5.6 million commercial buildings account for approximately 40% of the nation’s total energy demand and use 75% of its electricity. Furthermore, about half of America’s homes and commercial buildings were built before 1980, when most of today’s more efficient products and building construction practices did not yet exist,” DOE said in a statement.
The Advanced Building Construction with Energy-Efficient Technologies & Practices (ABC) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) aims to develop deep energy retrofit and new construction technologies that tackle a combination of envelope, heating, cooling, water heating, and ventilation issues.
The FOA addresses three areas:
Topic 1 – Integrated Building Retrofits: Focuses on integrating technologies to achieve more affordable, deep energy savings in existing buildings (e.g. light and durable highly insulated panels, combined heating and cooling, and hot water systems). Up to 75% energy reduction is sought for major building loads such a space heating and cooling, water heating, and ventilation.
Topic 2 – New Construction Technologies: Focuses on building design, construction, and installation (e.g., off-site manufacturing, robotics, digitization, automation, and improved modeling) to improve affordability, scalability, and performance of energy efficient building systems and methods. The DEO said that this topic seeks solutions that lead to construction of homes and buildings that are 50% more efficient compared to current code. This topic has a special emphasis to make mobile homes significantly more efficient while keeping the same initial cost, the government agency said.
Topic 3 – Advanced Technology Integration: Focuses on field validation of new innovative technologies and building practices, workforce training, and service delivery methods suited to regional and/or local needs, including those related to building stock, regional climates and grid characteristics.
DOE said that concept papers for this initiative are due on June 10, 2019 to be eligible to submit a full application.
Last month, the DOE had announced the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) 2019 funding opportunity for up to $47 million for innovative technologies to make energy more affordable.
DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) designed the 2019 BENEFIT FOA to increase energy productivity by supporting the R&D and performance verification of flexible and energy-efficient technologies for residential and commercial buildings across the following topic areas:
Topic 1 – Flexible Buildings Technologies.
Topic 2 – Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technologies.
Topic 3 – Solid-state Lighting Technologies