Vol. 2 |  Issue 2 | June 14, 2019

Wired for Success

With the proliferation of sensors, communication and energy management systems, we have the ability to extract more data than ever from our buildings. But how do we use it?

Increasingly, machine learning plays a role. At Building Technology & Urban Systems (BTUS), we are researching and developing systems that can automatically detect problems, deliver advanced control, and provide higher levels of performance with less hands-on management. Learn more about our Energy Management and Information Systems work at buildings.lbl.gov/emis , and read on to discover more important work aimed at making our buildings smarter and safer.

—Jessica Granderson, Deputy of Research, Building Technology and Urban Systems Division

Video Feature: Energy Reporting Devices
With so many devices at play in a given building, how should decisions about energy use be made?

A new video featuring researchers Bruce Nordman, Aditya Khandekar, Marco Pritoni and Anand Prakash explains energy reporting work under way at BTUS, funded by the California Energy Commission.


Watch on YouTube: youtu.be/28oURL5em4I
Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in New California Homes: What's Working?
Reducing energy waste through air sealing is essential to California achieving zero energy homes, but indoor air quality (IAQ) can be a concern.

To address this, California’s Title 24 Building Standards have required mechanical ventilation in new homes since 2008. A new Berkeley Lab report evaluates the impact of these requirements in newer homes with natural gas appliances.

Read more:

Learn more about the Indoor Environment Group:
Rosenfeld Symposium Honors Efficiency
A select audience recently gathered for the 2019 Art Rosenfeld Symposium on Energy Efficient and Grid Interactive Buildings.

The day was dedicated to the ongoing scientific discoveries and research inspired by Rosenfeld, a Berkeley Lab Senior Scientist, UC Berkeley Professor and former Commissioner of the California Energy Commission. A new video about Rosenfeld and his legacy also debuted at the symposium.

The picture at right shows all the poster presenters from the conference.


Working With Industry to Save Energy
Industry leaders learned the latest techniques and technologies to save energy and water during a recent event at Berkeley Lab hosted by the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program. The program helps industrial partners achieve voluntary energy performance improvement goals.

Read more about the event:
It's New: The Rosenfeld Scientific Workforce Development Program
A new program designed to draw scientists and engineers who want to contribute to society through fundamental scientific and technological advances in the field of building technology research has been launched at ETA.

Nari Yoon (pictured) is the first selected to this program, and started at ETA on June 10, 2019. She is a postdoctoral researcher focusing on sustainable design, design-integrated simulation methodologies and natural ventilation. Her recent study on natural ventilation simulation utilized experiments from a living lab, as well as Modelica, a next-generation Building Energy Simulation engine. Yoon has worked as a building performance specialist, engineer and architectural intern prior to her doctorate. She received degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Hongik University, Korea. 

The new program is based in ETA's Building Technology and Urban Systems Division, in partnership with the Building Technologies Office of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset in Building Technology
BTUS scientists recently completed a new Department of Energy program aimed at helping building technology researchers develop market-oriented skills. 

Reshma Singh led the program, Incubating Market-Propelled Entrepreneurial Mindset at the Labs (IMPEL), and the participants included researchers Robert Hart, Howdy Goudey and Baptiste Ravache.

A Clear View of Window Energy Savings
This year U.S. consumers will see new in-store labels for window coverings such as blinds and shades. The labels were informed by a product rating and certification program developed via extensive modeling and research at Berkeley Lab.

Read more at American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy:
OpenADR Becomes Global Standard for Demand Response
The grid communications model OpenADR, which began as a Berkeley Lab research project, recently became an international standard. OpenADR offers a common language energy customers and grid operators can use to communicate. Its approval as a global standard in January came from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which publishes consensus-based standards for the world's electric systems.


Researchers Contribute to New Building Performance Title
A new edition of Building Performance Simulation for Design and Operation features a chapter co-authored by Michael Wetter on future building system modeling and simulation. The Routledge title offers a comprehensive overview of building performance simulation from conception to demolition, with new chapters on building information modeling, occupant behavior modeling, urban physics modeling, urban building energy modeling and renewable energy systems modeling.

Check out the release:
Launch of Advanced M&V Tool
M& V Tool
Many stakeholders in the M&V industry are using a software tool or method for advanced M&V on a project. Berkeley Lab developed a test procedure to answer the following questions: how accurate is the tool, and how does it compare to similar tools? After many months of development work, EVO is taking that procedure to market by offering an online testing service. The testing service gives a general sense of accuracy for a given tool, and also lets you compare one tool/method to another. It is founded upon a consistent methodology and industry-accepted performance metrics for M&V 2.0 software tools. It derives baseline model accuracy results using a standard procedure and dataset. The portal’s target audience consists of vendors (software developers) who can use the service for benchmarking, independent review and performance assessment as well as for marketing. The portal could also potentially be used by sponsors such as utilities for vendor qualification, for custom testing using utility’s own data set or comparative results analyses.

Check it out at: mvportal.evo-world.org/
Comparing Attic Approaches for Zero Net Energy Homes
BTUS researchers recently investigated the thermal and moisture performance of a low-cost approach to sealing and insulating attics using glass fiber insulation. Results from both field measurements and simulations indicate that the use of air and vapor permeable insulation can be acceptable from a thermal/energy point of view, but additional measures need to be taken to reduce moisture risks, primarily from mold growth. 

ASHRAE HVAC Applications Handbook

A new Chapter 65, occupant-centric sensing and controls, is now available as part of the 2019 ASHRAE HVAC Applications Handbook. Berkeley Lab's Tianzhen Hong, Jared Langevin, and Na Luo are co-authors of the chapter.

Handbook can be found at:
Recent BTUS Publications


See more:

Mary Ann Piette, Division Director, Building Technology & Urban Systems
Jessica Granderson , Deputy for Research Programs
Christopher Payne , Deputy for Operations
Erin Harbin , Principal Administrator

Karyn Houston , Communications Manager

1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720

See also: Department of Energy Building Technologies Office
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Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) is located in the Berkeley Hills near UC Berkeley and conducts scientific research on behalf of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). It is managed and operated by the University of California (UC). The Laboratory overlooks the University of California, Berkeley.

Berkeley Lab addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more information, visit  www.lbl.gov .

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, see  science.energy.gov .