The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office (BTO) has released its report on the first phase of its Advanced Building Construction (ABC) Initiative and announced the funding awards for the second phase. The ABC Initiative aims to foster modernization of the U.S. construction industry by supporting innovative new technologies and building processes that also incorporate energy- efficiency solutions.
In 2019 DOE’s BTO created a funding opportunity for two categories of whole-building solutions, with one focused on retrofit technologies and building processes and the other on new construction applications. Fourteen teams were awarded Phase 1 funding for the first category: developing industrialized construction technologies and approaches for building retrofits. A report on these teams’ work is available for download at https://advancedbuildingconstruction.org/topic1-phasei-report/.
As the Phase 1 research efforts wound down, a second-phase funding opportunity was announced that would enable teams from Phase 1, or reorganized teams that included at least a team lead from the Phase 1 awardees, to pursue whole-building solutions that would achieve a 75% reduction in energy consumption from thermal loads and could be demonstrated on at least two operational buildings.
In March 2022, BTO selected seven teams for advancement to Phase II, funding their efforts with a total of $31.8 million.
1. Fraunhofer USA Center for Manufacturing Innovation (Massachusetts) will test prefabricated, super insulated wall retrofit panel blocks with a suite of high-performance building technologies across four locations in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. (Award Amount: $4.9 million.)
2. Home Innovation Research Labs, Inc. (Maryland) will test an innovative wall system with vacuum insulated panels in three residential, multifamily public housing buildings in Albany, New York. (Award Amount: $4.5 million.)
3. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Colorado) will use software tools to properly size and install retrofit packages in two residential low-income, multifamily buildings in Arvada, Colorado. (Award Amount: $4.4 million.)
4. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Tennessee) will demonstrate 3D-printed modular overclad panels with heat pump systems in eight to 12 single-family attached public housing homes and one commercial building in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Award Amount: $5 million.)
5. RMI (Colorado) will demonstrate an integrated retrofit package of envelope panels, a heat pump pod, and innovative financing in a mid-rise, 120-unit low-income multifamily building in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Award Amount: $4.4 million.)
6. Syracuse University (New York) will pair overclad panels with real-time performance monitoring capabilities and an HVAC pod in single-family attached dormitories in Syracuse, New York. (Award Amount: $5 million.)
7. The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees (Florida) will demonstrate a solar photovoltaic- integrated multi-functional heat pump system for space and water heating in four single-family homes and eight manufactured homes across numerous locations in six states. (Award Amount: $3.6 million.)