Building Envelope Technologies Research
The Emerging Technology team conducts research into technologies and processes related to the building envelope. The goal of these efforts is to help reduce the amount of energy used in the building envelope by 20% compared to 2010 levels. By partnering with industry, researchers, and other stakeholders, the Department of Energy acts as a catalyst in developing new materials, coatings, and systems designed to improve energy efficiency. Research in building envelope technologies includes:
Building foundation insulation systems can help improve energy efficiency, but are affected by variables that can be hard to detect, such moisture. Research into foundations helps building owners and operators in different climate zones and soil types better understand the options available to them, and can help reduce the risk of choosing the wrong materials. The Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting research into cost-effective and energy efficient foundation technology.
DOE projects related to foundations include the Foundation and Moisture Control project.
Building insulation is a significant factor in overall building energy efficiency. Effective insulation can increase occupant comfort by keeping temperatures well-regulated, and building owners and operators have a number of options available when it comes to which materials to use to provide insulation.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting research into cost-effective and energy efficient insulation technology. DOE projects related to insulation include:
- Advanced Insulation for High Performance Cost-effective Wall, Roof, and Foundation Systems
- Bio-Based Phase Change Materials
- Shape Stable and Highly Conductive Nano-Phase-Change Materials
- Super Building Insulation by CO2 Foaming Process
- Vacuum Insulation Panels
Roofing and Attics
The materials used in roofing a structure can have a significant impact on a building's energy use. Technologies such as cool roofs can reflect heat rather than absorb it, making it easier to keep a building cool in the summer. The Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting research into cost-effective and energy efficient roofing and attics technology. DOE projects related to roofing and attics include:
- Global Cool Cities Alliance
- Nano-Enabled TiO2 UV Protective Layer for Cool-Color Roofing Application
- Determining How Pollution Impacts the Efficacy of Cool Roofs
- Bio-based Thermochromic Intelligent Roof Coating
Providing insulation to the outside of a building can help a building owner or operator with added energy efficiency, especially when coupled with insulation around the rest of the building envelope. Exterior insulation systems can also provide other benefits, such as waterproofing. The Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting research into cost-effective and energy efficient wall technology.
DOE projects related to walls include the Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems Wall Systems project.