The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced up to $42 million in project selections to support early-stage research and development (R&D) of innovative residential and commercial building technologies for energy efficiency.

This follows the announcement of US$40 million in funding for the department's Grid Modernisation Programme (GMI).

Buildings use 75% of U.S. electricity and account for 40% of U.S. overall energy use. Energy efficiency is a key driver of overall economic efficiency and part of DOE’s mission to increase energy affordability and energy security. The technology developed from these early-stage R&D projects is designed to help consumers and businesses save energy costs and drive domestic economic competitiveness.

A total of 46 research teams were selected as a result of three fiscal year 2018 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) issued by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Building Technologies Office. Major focus areas under each FOA include:

Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies – 19 selections for $19.5 million:

  • Advanced separation technologies for dehumidification
  • Innovative materials for thermal insulation
  • High performance windows
  • Advanced controls and automation in building energy management
  • Innovative technologies using natural gas

Solid State Lighting – 11 selections for $11 million:

Core technology research for LEDs and organic LEDs (OLEDs)

Proof-of-concept and prototype development for LEDs and OLEDs

Advanced manufacturing R&D focuses on chemistry and physics of LED/OLED panel fabrication

Building America – 16 selections for $11.5 million:

  • Development and validation of high performance residential envelope systems that provide moisture management and validation of high performance envelope specifications for performance and durability
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) installation and performance
  • Gap analysis of building industry standard practices

For more information on the selections visit the Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office web site.