Federal Government Pursues Energy-Efficient Projects

The United States Department of Energy, through an energy-efficient commercial buildings program, has extended a call for potential projects in which it is seeking commercial building owners and operators and requesting proposals targeted at technical experts to provide guidance to improve the energy efficiency of commercial building projects. The Department of Energy’s national laboratories, Including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, issued a call for projects in which they will use money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund technical experts to provide technical guidance on energy efficiency in building projects.

According to the Department of Energy, though the building owners and operators will receive no direct funding, they will be provided modern technical guidance for the implementation of energy-efficient technologies through the design and construction of new buildings, or the retrofitting of existing buildings. As part of the Department’s commercial building program, the technical guidance will include energy modeling, assessing and choosing appropriate energy-efficient measures, and energy performance verification.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in connection with several other national laboratories, has commenced a program in which the laboratories are working together to propose two new opportunities for Commercial Building Partnerships under the Department of Energy initiative.  In targeting new building construction and the retrofitting of existing buildings, the Partnership seeking to produce building that are significantly more energy-efficient than the current building stock.

As noted, the first opportunity comes in the form of planned energy-efficient building projects in which the federal government is asking a variety of entities to submit new or retrofit commercial building projects that will attain significant energy savings. Applicants will work with researchers in association with the several national laboratories and with technical experts under contract to achieve the projected energy goals. The second opportunity comes in the form of technical experts interested in helping the partnership energy goals. The request for proposals seeks technical teams and measurement and verification consultants that provide a broad range of expertise, including: architecture, HVAC and controls, day-lighting, lighting, energy modeling, building auditing and data collection, cost estimation, and commissioning. Application submission for the federally-funded energy-efficiency projects has been extended to May 28, 2010, and is currently only open for planned building projects (Commercial Building Partnerships – Call for Projects).

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