Since the mid 1970s, DOE has invested some $70 million in research and development at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for development of advanced energy-efficient building technologies, software, and standards. That investment has helped spawn a $2.4-billion U.S. market for key products--energy-efficient lighting and advanced window coatings--and efficiency standards for residential equipment and computerized tools for more efficient building design. By 1993 DOE's initial investment had reduced consumers' energy bills by an estimated $5 billion ($1.3 billion in 1993 alone). By 2015 we estimate that the products of that investment will save consumers $16 billion annually.
LBNL research partnerships address a host of other building technology issues as well-- building technology issues whose economic benefits are less easy to quantify but whose overall worth is equally important. We analyze public policy issues such as the role of efficiency options as a mitigation strategy for global climate change. We develop planning and demand-management methodologies for electric and gas utilities. We identify technologies and analytical methods for improving human comfort and the quality of indoor air. We contribute to the information superhighway. We focus on the special problems and opportunities presented by energy use in the public sector. And we do all these things at the local, national, and international levels.
At LBNL, we are part of the multi-laboratory, interdisciplinary approach to building technology research supported by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. We also participate in buildings-related research supported by DOE's Office of Health and Environmental Research, other federal agencies, and industry. This document describes LBNL's role within this wider effort.