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Residential Buildings Integration

chart of hygrothermal model

The Department of Energy’s Residential Buildings Integration, or RBI, program’s mission is to accelerate market adoption of technologies and strategies that achieve zero carbon homes for everyone in the United States. 

The ORNL RBI subprogram utilizes the lab’s unique testing and simulation capabilities to assess the hygrothermal, or heat and moisture, performance of building envelope systems, identify solutions, and place into builders’ hands data and knowledge to help make better informed decisions.  This research accelerates the adoption of energy efficiency solutions reducing building operational carbon contributions, improves service life reducing building embodied carbon contributions, and reduces maintenance and repair costs for all homeowners by extending service life supporting efforts to improve the quality of homes for low income families. 

The subprogram performs heat and mass material and system property characterization as inputs for models, validates the accuracy of these models through laboratory and field measurements, contributes to the development of ASHRAE Standard 160, “Criteria for Moisture-Control Design Analysis in Buildings,” and develops simplified tools for educators to teach hygrothermal performance through the Building Science Advisor