The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has done a lot to green the nation’s buildings in recent years, and a recent announcement from Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu has made it clear the federal government intends to keep up the trend. According to a recent release, the DOE has made another $76 million in awards to support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment professionals.
The 58 projects selected for funding range from major manufacturers (Honeywell, Johnson Controls) to colleges and universities (Cornell, University of Washington) to organizations (International Union of Operating Engineers, Northwest Energy Efficiency Council) and beyond. Funds will support advanced building control strategies, communications and information technologies for net-zero energy building and programs to train workers to service and operate new and existing buildings, to develop and deploy best practices resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and to establish a green workforce with technical expertise to reduce energy costs for consumers.
The DOE acknowledges that the nation’s 114 million households and more than 74 million square feet of commercial floor space account for approximately 40 percent of our overall energy consumption and 39 percent of our carbon emissions. These projects are aimed at helping to lower the energy demands and emissions of commercial buildings and promote a specialized, energy-efficient buildings workforce across the country.
“These projects will help the United States lead the world in advancing energy-efficient technologies,” Secretary Chu said, in a statement. “Energy-efficient commercial buildings will help our country cut its carbon emissions and energy costs while the training programs will upgrade the skills of the current workforce and attract the next generation to careers in the emerging clean-energy economy.”