Buildings Research and Development

Today's buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the US economy, including transportation and industry, according to the United States Department of Energy. The Buildings R&D program has supported the potential to greatly improve energy and environmental efficiency of our building stock by funding research and development capabilities of component and material suppliers; facilitating communication between the design and construction industries; promoting the availability of information and appropriate price signals to encourage acceptance and adoption of innovative technology by market participants.

Over the past decade, the Buildings R&D group has helped small business introduce 40 new products, create 334 jobs, increase New York product sales by $238 million and achieve energy savings of about $161 million. Examples of these products include heating and cooling technologies with improved efficiencies and reduced emissions; lighting fixtures to support advanced light sources (compact fluorescence lamps, metal halides, LED’s, etc); and controls to manage building loads during peak periods

Goals and Objectives

The objective of the Buildings R&D program is to advance the development and application of energy efficient building related technology. This challenge includes assisting the development and demonstration of new products; and supporting development of objective information for improved decision-making. In the course of delivering its objectives, the Buildings R&D program works through partnerships and collaborations with many small-to-medium sized New York businesses, technical universities, DOE National Laboratories, industry trade groups and other organizations.

Building Sector Overview Brochure [PDF]

Program Areas

Heating and Cooling

  • Work with New York manufacturers to develop, demonstrate and commercialize energy efficient natural-gas- and oil-fired systems for heating, cooling and domestic hot water with low NOx, COx and particulate emissions.
  • Promote the development and application of downsized pumps, fans and blowers to reduce power usage; and turn-down capabilities of burners, fuel pumps and compressors to improve part-load seasonal efficiency of heating and cooling equipment.
  • Develop self-powered heating systems to reduce the problems of extended electric power outages, and improve operating costs, and energy efficiency.
  • Promote the development and application of intelligent controls and diagnostics to heating and cooling systems to help maintain most efficient operating state.
  • Support research that contributes toward raising industry standards and government policy, such as the ASHRAE 155 Seasonal Efficiency Standard for residential and commercial boilers and the low sulphur home heating oil demonstration program.

Heating and Cooling Sector Overview Brochure [PDF]

Lighting Systems

  • Help New York lighting manufacturers develop, demonstrate and commercialize innovative, energy-efficient light sources, fixtures and controls for the commercial and residential sectors.
  • Utilize the Lighting Research Center and other New York-based technology centers to promote objective evaluation of lighting technology, and technical training for lighting specifiers to improve private decision making.
  • Advance the practice of daylighting in commercial and institutional buildings through education and demonstration to reduce connected lighting loads.

Lighting Sector Overview Brochure [PDF]

Building Envelope and Integrated Systems

  • Develop, evaluate and demonstrate innovative design methodologies and tools, construction methods and building commissioning practices to optimize overall energy and resource efficiency of buildings, reduce costs and construction lead times.
  • Promote development and application of green building analysis and measurement tools, and use of recycled materials to reduce environmental footprint of building construction and modernization.
  • Develop and demonstrate energy-efficient, integrated building envelopes, including window systems which optimize natural daylighting and thermal energy.
  • Develop, evaluate and demonstrate indoor air quality, ventilation and thermal distribution strategies and products that balance the need for occupant comfort and energy efficiency.

Electrical and Control Systems

  • Develop and demonstrate advanced load monitoring and control technologies for off- and on-site energy management in residential and commercial buildings.
  • Develop and demonstrate innovative, energy-efficient motors and variable speed drives for HVAC and other applications in residential and commercial buildings.

Low-Income and Multifamily Housing

  • Encourage submetering in master-metered multifamily buildings through demonstration of economical and multi-benefit technology.
  • Develop and demonstrate new technologies appropriate for improving the energy efficiency in electric and fossil fuel heated buildings.
  • Establish processes for integrating electric load-reduction with New York State’s Weatherization Assistance program.

More Buildings Programs

Last Updated: 08/14/2014