The U.S. Dept. of Energy has awarded a total of $32 million for more than 30 next-generation building retrofit projects that will dramatically improve affordable housing technologies, according to a DOE news release.
Seven organizations will use the money to test renovation techniques that reduce disruption to tenants while upgrading the energy and environmental performance of buildings more quickly, affordably, and effectively, the release says. The techniques, such as prefabricating walls and drop-in replacements for heating, cooling, and hot water systems, can “revolutionize construction and renovation.”
They can also help decarbonize America’s 130 million buildings at the rate needed to address the climate crisis and meet President Biden’s goals of a net zero carbon economy by 2050, the release says. The projects are intended to drive the development of new technologies, practices, and approaches, and ensure these efficient and low-carbon innovations are widely deployed.
The awards will be used to implement numerous materials including prefabricated, super-insulated wall retrofit panel blocks, a wall system with vacuum insulated panels, a heat pump pod, a solar photovoltaic-integrated multi-functional heat pump system for space and water heating, and software tools to properly size and install retrofit packages. The selected organizations will also advance DOE’s Advanced Building Construction Collaborative, which connects companies working in prefabricated, modular, and other industrialized construction techniques with building owners, developers, financiers, utilities, and researchers to modernize the construction industry and buildings sector.
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