Commercial space conditioning (heating, cooling, and ventilating) accounts for about 7.0 quads of primary energy per year, or about 40% of total commercial energy use in the United States. Through the Space Conditioning Technology Research Team, partners work together to deploy energy-saving space-conditioning strategies by partnering with industry on the Advance Rooftop Unit Campaign, coordinating real world building demonstrations, and generating tools to help partners understand and improve the performance of HVAC systems.
Participate in expert-led technology teams, test out an implementation model, join a technology campaign, or take part in a technology challenge or demonstration.
Better Buildings partners participate in webinars, peer-exchange calls, meetings, and industry workshops and conferences. Browse upcoming events and opportunities to participate by month.
Through the Better Buildings Alliance, over 200 public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency.
RTU Inventory Spreadsheet
The rooftop unit inventory spreadsheet can be used to gather basic RTU information in a streamlined evaluation process.
RTU Field Evaluation Checklist
The RTU Field Evaluation Checklist is a visual-based field evaluation to help identify damage, dysfunction, or degradation that requires more than routine maintenance.
HVAC Resource Map
The HVAC Resource Map is an intuitive graphical interface developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Building Technologies Office (BTO) in the U.S. Department of Energy. It provides quick access to a broad array of quality information on operations and maintenance best practices and energy and water efficiency measures.
Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides (AERGs) provide practical roadmaps and example efficiency measures for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements in existing buildings. The AERG series covers K-12 schools, retail buildings, grocery stores, office buildings, and healthcare facilities.
Buildings Re-tuning Training
Re-tuning is a low-cost process to identify and correct building operational problems that lead to energy waste. The Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed training curricula focused on re-tuning large and small commercial buildings.
ENERGY STAR Building Upgrade Manual
This manual contains energy-saving building upgrades and cost-effective retrofit opportunities. See Chapter 5 for retrocommissioning, Chapter 8 for air-distribution systems, and Chapter 9 for heating and cooling upgrades.
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) purchasing requirements
A FEMP resource on procuring high-efficiency products, many not covered by ENERGY STAR®. Although developed for a federal audience, they can apply to the private sector. See also the FEMP energy and cost savings calculators for energy efficient products.
Meet the Technology Expert
Michael Deru is Engineering Manager in the Commercial Buildings Research Group at NREL. He manages the Systems Performance section within the Commercial Buildings Research Group, and his been with NREL since 2000. Michael leads the Space Conditioning Technology Research Team and the Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance and manages projects on the development and testing of novel HVAC systems, building performance simulations, performance metrics for sustainability, source energy and emissions factors, water, and the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database. Michael Deru holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado State University.