Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $11.5 million in funding to support early-stage research and validation of energy performance improvements in existing and new residential buildings. With more than 118 million single family homes, multi-family units, and mobile homes across the United States, the residential building sector accounts for 20.8% of the nation’s total energy consumption and 37.5% of all electricity consumption - costing consumers more than $177 billion in electricity bills annually.

The Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is issuing a funding opportunity (FOA) to select additional building science project teams for the Building America Program to study residential building performance and integrated building systems approaches to achieving optimal home energy performance.

“Building America has successfully reduced the nation’s energy costs and improved environmental health over its program history by bringing innovations in performance, quality, and comfort to American households,” said David Nemtzow, Building Technologies Office Director. “Investing in high performance housing research helps the U.S. housing industry offer American families new energy and cost-saving opportunities while improving quality of life with more comfortable, healthier homes.”

The “Building America Industry Partnerships and Research Priorities for High Performance Housing Innovation – 2018” FOA (DE-FOA-0001824) builds on work that started in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Building America FOAs, and is focused primarily on addressing remaining gaps and objectives in the Building America Research to Market Plan.  

BTO also supports research priorities in the residential buildings sector related to building energy codes. Further research in this area will help address current gaps, providing data and technical analysis around the market prevalence of key technologies and efficiency measures. This helps to inform future building technology research and development activities and building energy codes decision-making processes.

Under this funding opportunity, BTO is interested in three topic areas:

Topic 1 - Baseline In-situ Fault Analysis in Residential Comfort Systems

This topic addresses the need for a comprehensive field study to characterize the prevalence and severity of installation faults and resulting performance degradation of residential central ducted HVAC systems.

Topic 2 - Integration of Advanced Residential Building Envelope and HVAC Systems

This topic focuses on selected objectives of the Building America Technology to Market Roadmaps, described in the Building America Research-to-Market Plan, including High Performance Moisture Managed Envelope Solutions; and Optimized Comfort Systems.

Topic 3 - Gap Analysis of Building Industry Standard Practices

This topic focuses on research related to building industry standard practices. Construction practices vary significantly across the U.S. and there is often a shortage of information depicting how industry standards are applied in practice, including the influence of advancing technologies and construction practices. DOE supports further data and technical analysis of the market prevalence of key technologies and energy efficiency measures to inform decision-making processes related to building energy codes and standards, as well as inform future building technology research and development.