ETA’s residential buildings research addresses problems and opportunities associated with whole-building integration involving modeling, measurement, design and operation. Areas of research include the movement of air and associated penalties involving distribution of pollutants, energy and fresh air.
The Residential Building Systems group covers a broad range of activities. It conducts research to support a variety of HVAC- and building envelope-related ASHRAE standards and provides extensive guidance and support for the building industry for a variety of other codes, standards, and training-related activities. It evaluates deep energy retrofits to identify best practices for achieving substantial energy savings, and measures HVAC filtration fouling and its effect on HVAC performance. It also has developed scientific guidance for a health-risk-based residential ventilation standard and is compiling a residential ventilation system leakage database, to characterize the energy use and indoor air quality of the U.S. housing stock. The Berkeley Lab-developed Residential Integrated Ventilation Controller (RIVEC) system monitors and controls the operation of whole-house residential ventilation systems, to reduce total energy use while providing a healthy indoor environment.
To ensure tangible energy savings from this research, ETA provides homeowners with the information and tools they need to reduce their home's energy use while increasing comfort. For example, ETA's Home Energy Saver project creates web-based energy analysis tools, web services and social media for consumers and home energy professionals, and the California Energy Commission-sponsored RESAVE program seeks to facilitate the reduction of energy and peak power that is spent in homes to condition air that enters from outdoors.