The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $33.5 million for early-stage research and development of advanced building construction techniques to reduce energy bills. Combined, America’s 118 million homes and 5.6 million commercial buildings account for approximately 40% of the nation’s total energy demand and use 75% of its electricity. Furthermore, about half of America’s homes and commercial buildings were built before 1980 when most of today’s more efficient products and building construction practices did not yet exist.
The Advanced Building Construction with Energy-Efficient Technologies & Practices (ABC) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) aims to develop deep energy retrofit and new construction technologies that tackle a combination of envelope, heating, cooling, water heating, and ventilation issues.
This type of work will have an impact on the sheet metal industry as it can lead to the development of new emerging markets in a consistently growing sector of the economy. The Department is looking to focus on integrating technologies to achieve more affordable, deep energy savings in existing buildings. This includes encouraging usage of light and durable highly insulated panels, combined heating and cooling, and hot water systems). Up to 75% energy reduction is sought for major building loads such a space heating and cooling, water heating, and ventilation.
The DOE is also looking at new construction technologies with a focus on building design, construction, and installation along with a look at new innovative technologies and building practices, workforce training, and service delivery methods suited to regional and local needs.
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