The Energy Technologies Area (ETA) 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 engages in a broad range of activities. We conduct research to support a variety of HVAC- and building envelope-related ASHRAE standards and provide extensive guidance and support for the building industry for a variety of other codes, standards, and training-related activities. We evaluate deep energy retrofits to identify best practices for achieving substantial energy savings, and measure HVAC filtration fouling and its effect on HVAC performance. We also have developed scientific guidance for a health-risk-based residential ventilation standard and are compiling a residential ventilation system leakage database to characterize the energy use and indoor air quality of U.S. housing stock. Our 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, we provide homeowners with the information and tools they need to reduce their home's energy use while increasing comfort. For example, our 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 to condition air that enters from outside the home.