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Building Energy Technologies

NREL's New Energy-Efficient "RSF" Building

Buildings provide shelter for nearly everything we do—we work, live, learn, govern, heal, worship, and play in buildings—and they require enormous energy resources. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, homes and commercial buildings use nearly three quarters of the electricity in the United States. Opportunities abound for reducing the huge amount of energy consumed by buildings, but discovering those opportunities requires compiling substantial amounts of data and information. The Buildings Energy Technologies gateway is your single source of freely accessible information on energy usage in the building industry as well as tools to improve efficiencies.


RSF Image 17515.jpg

National Residential Efficiency Measures Database
The National Residential Efficiency Measures Database is a publicly available, centralized resource of residential building retrofit measures and costs for the U.S. building industry. With support from the U.S. Department of Energy, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed this tool to help users determine the most cost-effective retrofit measures for improving energy efficiency of existing homes.

Building Component Library
The Building Component Library is a large searchable database of building energy components. This data includes high-level descriptions of components, cost data as well as low-level energy usage statistics.

The Tools section will also contain a chart comparing the numerous tools available today on a variety of features and capabilities. Analysis and formatting are underway and the chart will be made available as soon as it is completed.

Information Portal: Renewable Energy in Buildings

RSF Image 1779.jpg

Solaripedia Solaripedia is a free extensive, searchable database of green architecture and green building using solar, wind and passive strategies to create sustainable, resilient built environments. There are thousands of useful tools, resources, case studies, images and links for architects, builders, homeowners, and do-it-yourselfers. An easy-to-use search tool helps you find exactly what you need in the database. You can submit your own links to add a company, article, people or projects to the database.

Information Portal: Green Building Standards

In this section, you will find information about U.S. green building standards.
  • The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501 c3 non-profit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. [1]
  • LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. [2]

Information Portal: Building Design Processes and Influences

In this section, you will find information about the variables that influence a building, including incentives, utilities, weather, climate, and location/ground temperature.

Information Portal: The Built Environment

This section contains information on factors that define a building, such as occupancy.
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Residential Buildings
    • DOE Buildings Energy Data Book: Presents statistics on residential and commercial building energy consumption. Data tables contain statistics related to construction, building technologies, energy consumption, and building characteristics.
  • International Buildings
    • IBEX: Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) developed an online database that houses information on international buildings energy efficiency projects – International Building Energy eXchange (IBEX). The database contains information on nearly 400 projects and activities that are funded by the largest U.S.-based and multi-lateral agencies and organizations, such as U.S. Department of Energy, UNDP, UNEP, World Bank, EBRD, Blue Moon Fund, ClimateWorks, and others. This online tool aims to become a comprehensive repository of information on international projects addressing energy efficiency in buildings with participation of U.S. funding. Users can search for activities based on country; building technology or technical area, such as building design and retrofits; efficiency activity type, such as R&D or deployment; and other project characteristics. IBEX can help users facilitate learning about research, development, and deployment of building technologies, collect information on potential collaborators and make contact with those entities, increase leverage by taking advantage of synergies and collaborations, and track potential markets and technology trends. The IBEX database can be searched from
    • Sweden Building Data: For several years now, the Swedish Energy Agency has been working, under the name of the STIL2 project, to improve the general level of awareness and knowledge of how energy is used in non-residential premises, and of how it can used more efficiently. Each year, the Agency carries out detailed surveys of energy use in about 150 representative buildings. So far, this has covered energy use in offices, schools and healthcare premises over the years 2005-2007. In addition to comparison of performance between these years, results are also compared with a similar investigation from 1990. The emphasis of the work of the STIL2 investigation is on the use of electricity.[4]
      • Sweden Building Data contains summary information from the STIL2 project. This is a representative sampling of non-residential buildings and the buildings are numbered and exact location is not given. The county where the building is located and other general information is located on OpenEI. Additional detailed information on usage in each building is available here in a spreadsheet format.
    • Finland Building Data: Coming soon!
  • High Performance Buildings Database: Contains in-depth information and data on high-performance, green-building projects across the United States and abroad. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is currently in the process of compiling this data. It it scheduled to be released for general consumption in the near future.

What's New

Energy Star
OpenEI recognizes the 20th anniversary of the Energy Star award. Check out the Energy Star page on OpenEI to learn more about the EPA's award, and find out who this year's winners are.

Visit the OpenEI EERE Tech Portal page for list of all licensing opportunities.

Building Energy Codes-Best Practices Report for APEC Economies

Building Component Library

The Building Component Library is a repository of building data used to create building energy models. The data are broken down into separate components that represent parts of a building: windows, walls, schedules, and weather information are a few examples.

Building Performance

In this section, you will find information on building outputs, including energy usage, economics, carbon emissions, and site and source emissions.


  1. About USGBC, U.S. Green Building Council (2011)
  2. What LEED Is, U.S. Green Building Council (2011)
  3. EIA CBECS Building Types, U.S. Energy Information Administration (Oct 2008)
  4. Swedish Energy Agency