This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 25, 2010

DOE Creates New Energy Hub for Energy-Efficient Building Design

DOE announced on August 24 the creation of the Energy-Efficient Building Systems Design Energy Innovation Hub to develop technologies that make buildings more energy efficient. The hub team, led by Pennsylvania State University, will receive up to $122 million over the next five years to develop models that are applicable to both retrofits and new construction. Located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Clean Energy campus, the hub will bring together leading researchers from academia, two national laboratories, and the private sector. The goal is to formulate building designs that will save energy, cut pollution, create jobs, and position the United States as a worldwide industry leader.

The team will use the more than 200 buildings on the Navy Yard campus and its independent electric microgrid as a "virtual municipality" to test and validate the new technologies. The hub team will pursue a research, development, and demonstration program targeting technologies for single buildings and district-wide systems. The technologies include computer simulation and design tools to enable integrated project teams to collaborate on retrofit, renovation, and new building design projects; advanced combined heat and power systems; building-integrated photovoltaic systems for energy generation; advanced HVAC systems with integrated indoor air quality management; and sensor and control networks to monitor building conditions and optimize energy use. The program will also analyze the role of policy, markets, and behavior in the use of building energy technologies. Because buildings account for nearly 40% of U.S. energy consumption and carbon emissions, developing systems to improve building efficiency will provide significant benefits. This is the third DOE hub established in Fiscal Year 2010. In July, DOE announced the Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub. See the DOE press release, the Energy Hub Web site, and the July 28 edition of EERE Network News.