Building Technology & Urban Systems

Building Technology & Urban Systems

Our goal is to reduce energy use in buildings by 50% over the next decade.

Steve Greenberg, Henry Coles and Gerald Robinson set up an experiment in FLEXLAB

Redefining Building Technologies

Building Technology & Urban Systems is at the forefront of cutting-edge research that redefines building technology. For decades we have been leaders in developing energy-efficient windows, improving the nation's electricity grid, and exploring  innovative technologies and solutions that increase energy efficiency and improve the health, safety, and comfort of building occupants. Read on for specific areas of research.

Eleanor Lee and Christian Kohler in the FLEXLAB testbed

Windows and Daylighting

Smart window technologies developed at Berkeley Lab, in partnership with industry, are now found in 80 percent of homes and more than half the commercial buildings in the U. S. Today, we are leading the way in developing windows that will be integral to smart buildings, dynamically managing sunlight, view, and glare.

The FLEXLAB test facility looks at buildings as an entire system, and recognizes opportunities to integrate with renewables and the grid.

FLEXLAB® & Systems Integration

FLEXLAB is the most adaptable, comprehensive, and advanced building efficiency and grid technologies testing facility in the world, allowing users to test systems individually or as an integrated model, under real-world conditions.

Testing gaming computers for energy efficiency

Electronics, Lighting & Networks

Our research focuses on reducing electricity use in consumer electronics and computer equipment. Major areas of research include reducing standby power; using data networks to improve energy-efficiency; reducing plug loads; refining ENERGY STAR standards; and developing technical standards.


Building controls screenshot

Modeling & Simulation

We develop software that supports the efficient design and operation of buildings, as well as future systems that can save energy and money.


Ventilation has a significant impact on the health of occupants

Indoor Air Quality

People spend most of their time indoors and are therefore affected by a variety of indoor pollutants. We work to understand and mitigate them.


Desalination plant

High Tech & Industrial

We focus on improving the energy performance of large facilities, from data centers to hospitals to manufacturing systems.


Decision Science

Decision Science

We collect data and develop tools to better understand energy-related occupant behavior in buildings.


Advanced M and V photograph

Energy Analytics

We devise methods and deliver tools to analyze measured building performance and provide actionable information.


utility meter

The Grid & Demand Response

We conduct groundbreaking research on energy storage and distribution, informing a wide range of stakeholders through research, development, technical assistance, policy and standards.


Researchers measure heat reflection of roofing materials

Cool Roofs & Walls

Our research contributes to the reduction of heat by decreasing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by roofs, walls, pavement, and cars.


urban city

Urban Systems

Our work aims to make cities more resource-efficient, environmentally sustainable, and climate-resilient.


spectro radiometer

Testing Facilities

We have an extensive array of testing capabilities for material characterization and performance monitoring. Lab testing facilities include those for assessing: whole buildings, lighting systems, windows & envelope materials, solar-optical properties, heat transfer, and thin-film and deposition systems.



Commercial Building Systems

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