DOE Announces $33.5 Million for Energy-Efficient Building Construction

By Hannah Fullmer | May 9, 2019
The Industry Strikes Back: A Conversation on the Workforce Shortage and What Can Be Done About It

The Department of Energy (DOE) is looking to fund early-stage research and development for advanced building construction techniques and practices focused on energy efficiency. In total, the DOE has $33.5 million up for grabs.

The May 3 press release notes that the United States' 118 million homes and 5.6 million commercial buildings account for roughly 40 percent of the nation’s total energy demand and 75 percent of its electricity. About half of these buildings were built before 1980 when today’s energy-efficient products and building construction practices did not yet exist.

To address these older buildings and their energy inefficiencies, this funding opportunity, “aims to develop deep energy retrofit and new construction technologies that tackle a combination of envelope, heating, cooling, water heating, and ventilation issues.”

The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) addresses three topic areas: integrated building retrofits, new construction technologies and advanced technology integration.

Integrated building retrofits

This area focuses on integrating technologies such as light and durable highly insulated panels, combined heating and cooling, hot water systems and more, to produce more affordable deep energy savings in existing buildings. The aim is to achieve 75 percent energy reduction for major building loads, such as space heating and cooling, water heating and ventilation. 

New construction technologies

The DOE is seeking construction solutions making buildings 50 percent more efficient compared to current codes. This includes a special emphasis on making mobile homes significantly more efficient while maintaining initial costs. It focuses on building design, construction and installation such as off-site manufacturing, robotics, digitization, automation and improved modeling, to improve building systems’ affordability, scalability and performance.

Advanced technology integration

This opportunity focuses on field validation of new 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.

Concept papers are due on June 10, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. ET to be eligible to submit a full application. For more information on this FOA, including details on an informational webinar scheduled for May 13 at 1:30 p.m. ET., visit the EERE funding opportunity announcements page.

About The Author

FULLMER is the senior editor at ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. Contact her at [email protected]





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