Buildings Domain

About Buildings

Buildings use 74% of the United States’ electricity and account for 39% of our total energy use and 35% of our carbon emissions (NIST, 2021). As a result, to achieve net-zero emissions, buildings need to become flexible, resilient, and smarter. Widespread adoption of existing energy-efficiency building technologies and the introduction of new emerging technologies has the potential to reduce energy use in buildings by 50%. Efficient, zero carbon buildings take advantage of cost-effective technology to reduce emissions while increasing health, equity, and economic prosperity in local communities.

Emerging Technologies

There are four crucial trends driving zero carbon buildings innovation: decarbonization, electrification, efficiency, and digitalization. New technologies promise to increase energy efficiency by eliminating fossil fuels for heating, using renewable energy sources, grid-integration, and more effective materials. Emerging technology focus areas for buildings technology includes the following:

Intellectual Property


IP available for licensing


Building Test Bed Facilities

Location: Oak Ridge National Lab

FLEXLAB® for Buildings, Renewables and Grid

Location: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Visit FLEXLAB's website

Connected Devices Lab

Location: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

The Connected Devices lab develops prototypes and tests small devices and plug loads with a focus on:

Advanced Windows Testbed

Location: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Refrigeration Testing Facility

Location: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Indoor Environment Facilities

Location: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

The Engine: 750 Main

Location: The Engine, 750 Main Street, Cambridge, MA

Leading Building Innovation

 Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the domain chair for Buildings in the Cradle to Commerce program. 

ORNL delivers scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs needed to realize solutions in energy and national security and provide economic benefit to the nation. ORNL’s translational R&D approach spans fundamental science to demonstration and deployment, leveraging signature strengths in materials, neutrons, nuclear, and computing sciences. ORNL’s researchers play a pivotal role in America’s energy transformation into a clean, efficient, flexible, and secure energy future and deliver breakthroughs in energy from generation to distribution and storage to end use. 

Domain Chair

Melissa Lapsa

Building Technologies Program Manager, 

Oak Ridge National Lab

Technology Transfer Lead

Andreana C. Leskovjan

Commercialization Manager

Oak Ridge National Lab

Business Lead

Yeonjin Bae

R&D Associate Staff, 

Oak Ridge National Lab

DOE Technical Program Manager

Ram Narayanamurthy

Deputy Director,

Building Technologies Office 

U.S. Department of Energy

DOE Technical Program Manager

Nicholas Ryan

ORISE Science, Technology, and Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)