The buildings industry encompasses numerous designers, builders, construction materials and components manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and other vendors and service providers. Whether coming together for new construction or retrofitting established structures, these stakeholders often face research limitations and challenges when integrating components, equipment, and systems. This is especially true for anything that is new. System/Building Integration provides the means for our industry partners to work out the wrinkles in their new products in low-risk, realistic test bed environments before market introduction. In ORNL’s residential and light commercial building test beds, in addition to natural exposure to weather, an average occupant effect on energy use is imposed using process control so that realistic loads, operating conditions, and interactive effects are provided for technology evaluation and physical validation of models. Some technologies, such as system- and building-level controls or fault detection and diagnostics systems, also benefit from use of test buildings during the development process. The facilities and expertise in this center is also well suited to address renewable energy and building-to-grid integration challenges with our industry partners.
- Vacant research houses with simulated occupancy
- Owner-occupied houses
- Light commercial building flexible research platforms (FRPs)
- Computer modeling, visualization, analytics