Evaluating new building envelope materials and assemblies for comfort and energy efficiency
For more than 35 years, ORNL’s Building Envelopes Materials Research Group has been using its expertise in heat, air, and moisture transport to develop and evaluate new building envelope materials and assemblies that reduce energy use and embodied carbon, enhance occupant comfort, are moisture durable, and/or provide grid services. To this end, the Building Envelope Materials Research Group collaborates with ORNL researchers that specialize in material science, polymeric chemistry, advanced manufacturing, imaging and machine learning, advanced composites, bioresources, life cycle assessments, sensors and controls, and roll-to-roll manufacturing. These collaborations also include industry partners for the commercialization of developed technologies.
Research areas include high-R insulation materials, low-carbon building materials, self-healing materials, envelope retrofits, moisture durability, non-destructive diagnostic tools, active insulation materials and systems, thermal energy storage, grid services, and highly insulated windows and controls for shading systems. Moreover, research in industrialized construction increases manufacturing and installation throughput of the developed technologies and hence lowers their cost.