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Healthy Efficient Buildings


e.      Healthy Efficient Buildings

This subtopic solicits proposals for advanced technologies to enable healthy and efficient residential and commercial buildings. There are two subtopic areas of interest for Healthy Efficient Buildings. Note that awards may not be made in all areas, and the distribution will depend on the number and quality of proposals received. In all cases, project benefits should be demonstrated and validated as part of the proposed project structure, and clear demonstration of product or technology capabilities is required for consideration for advancement to Phase II funding. For more information, applicants should refer to BTO’s Building America Program Research-to-Market Plan [1].


1.      Low-cost, Smart Ventilation Systems and Components for Healthy, Efficient Residential Buildings- DOE seeks to identify and encourage development of innovative ventilation system and/or component technologies with the potential to improve IAQ and comfort in new and existing homes, with little or no energy penalty and very low incremental cost to builders and contractors. 


Recent research and field-testing by BTO and others have identified ventilation system technologies needed to help the industry reliably achieve optimal indoor air quality (IAQ), comfort, and energy efficiency in modern, “high performance” residential buildings. Ventilation system performance, reliability, and cost continue to be barriers to healthy, high performance homes, for both new construction and energy retrofits. Furthermore, ventilation is recommended by ASHRAE as the first building-related risk mitigation strategy for COVID-19.


Preference will be given to technology solutions that are applicable to both new construction and the existing building stock. While modest feasibility studies are appropriate for Phase I funding, applications for these subtopics should be transitioning to manufacturing by Phase II to be considered for further funding. BTO strongly encourages applicants to include a strategy for obtaining manufacturing partners by the end of Phase 1 as a part of their commercialization plan.


Specifically, DOE is interested in the following IAQ and comfort control technology applications:

·         Low-cost, reliable add-on sensors (e.g., flow sensors) and controls for improved commissioning, operation, and maintenance of ventilation systems.

·         Smart ventilation/IAQ tools (sensors, controls, hardware, software) that integrate with systems and components to optimize IAQ and minimize energy penalties, based on indoor conditions (i.e., temperature, RH, pollutant levels), outdoor conditions (i.e., temperature, RH, and/or pollutant levels, including smoke), occupancy, and other variables such as weather forecast data.


Questions – Contact: Eric Werling,


2.      Health-Energy Nexus in Commercial Buildings- DOE seeks innovative research, analysis, and development of building technologies and solutions that improve building energy performance and maintain comfortable, healthy, productive indoor environments despite disruptive events such as natural disasters, the spread of infectious disease, and grid interruptions.


With disruptive events such as COVID-19, [2, 3] there is a need for research, analysis and the development of resource efficient, resilient technologies and strategies to support the U.S. building stock in managing healthy, efficient, and resilient buildings.


Specifically, DOE is interested in the following:

·         Measuring, sensing, and evaluating the trade-offs associated with indoor air quality, occupant comfort, health, and energy use in commercial buildings.

·         Research to better understand air transport in commercial buildings, segmented by system type and/or sector under various conditions of re-occupancy and ongoing operation as related to specified resilient scenarios.

·         Development of novel efficient air-cleaning systems, advanced filtration systems, and/or surface treatments.


Questions – Contact: Cedar Blazek,

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