Commercial space conditioning (heating, cooling, and ventilating) accounts for about 7.0 quads of primary energy per year, or about 40% of total commercial energy use in the United States. Through the Space Conditioning Technology Research Team, partners work together to deploy energy-saving space-conditioning strategies by partnering with industry on the Advance Rooftop Unit Campaign, coordinating real world building demonstrations, and generating tools to help partners understand and improve the performance of HVAC systems.
Better Buildings partners participate in webinars, peer-exchange calls, meetings, and industry workshops and conferences. Browse upcoming events and opportunities to participate by month.
The Space Conditioning Team collaborates with researchers and industry experts to promote awareness and energy reduction through new technologies. Contact the Better Buildings Alliance to learn how you can get involved.
Recordings, slides, and transcripts from the 2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit sessions are now available online. Revisit your favorite sessions from our Virtual Leadership Symposium, or catch one you may have missed.
HVAC Resource Map Technical AssistanceThe HVAC Resource Map is an intuitive graphical interface that provides quick access to a broad array of quality information on operations and maintenance best practices and energy and water efficiency measures.
Saving Water and Money With Chemical-Free Treatment Technology for Cooling Towers Solutions at a GlanceResults from two validation studies of new water treatment technologies for cooling towers show 20–50% water savings, improved energy performance, and reduced or eliminated hazardous chemicals.
Software-Controlled Switched Reluctance Motor Technical AssistanceSmart motors integrate an innovative electric motor design with a programmable variable-frequency drive (VFD). Researchers from ORNL found that the smart motor was on average 4% more efficient than a premium motor combined with a VFD, and cost about half as much.
RTU Inventory Spreadsheet
The rooftop unit inventory spreadsheet can be used to gather basic RTU information in a streamlined evaluation process.
RTU Field Evaluation Checklist
The RTU Field Evaluation Checklist is a visual-based field evaluation to help identify damage, dysfunction, or degradation that requires more than routine maintenance.
Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides (AERGs) provide practical roadmaps and example efficiency measures for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements in existing buildings. The AERG series covers K-12 schools, retail buildings, grocery stores, office buildings, and healthcare facilities.
Buildings Re-tuning Training
Re-tuning is a low-cost process to identify and correct building operational problems that lead to energy waste. The Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed training curricula focused on re-tuning large and small commercial buildings.
ENERGY STAR Building Upgrade Manual
This manual contains energy-saving building upgrades and cost-effective retrofit opportunities. See Chapter 5 for retrocommissioning, Chapter 8 for air-distribution systems, and Chapter 9 for heating and cooling upgrades.
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) purchasing requirements
A FEMP resource on procuring high-efficiency products, many not covered by ENERGY STAR®. Although developed for a federal audience, they can apply to the private sector. See also the FEMP energy and cost savings calculators for energy efficient products.
FY2020 Sector Priorities
Meet the Technology Expert
Marcus Bianchi is a senior research engineer with the Building Energy Science Group. He is a thermal energy expert and conducts research in modeling, analysis, and testing of advanced building envelope components and systems to improve the energy performance of buildings. Marcus returned to NREL in 2019 after eight years at Owens Corning, where he led the Building Science team. He is active at ASHRAE, where he was chair of Technical Committee 4.4—Building Materials and Building Envelope Performance. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and is a licensed professional engineer in Colorado.