The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $8.2 million in funding for the initial phase of 19 cooperative agreements for building efficiency research and development projects to help stimulate the economy, save energy, and reduce pollution.

"Energy use in residential and commercial buildings accounts for approximately 65% of the electricity and 40% of the natural gas used in the United States," said Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. "These grants will help create cleaner, more livable communities by increasing energy efficiency."

The agreements will fund projects that target research and development activities in two broad areas:

  • Building equipment. This encompasses energy conversion and control equipment for lighting, space heating, cooling, ventilation, and cogeneration.
  • Building envelope. This includes construction materials and components for windows, walls, roofs, and foundations.

The projects over all phases will last from one to four years and have a potential total cost of about $16 million. The research will help develop technologies such as electricity-producing fuel cells, operationally dynamic window and wall systems, solid-state ceramic lamps, and heat-pump water heaters. The DOE's Federal Technology Center will manage the projects.

More specific information about this and DOE's other energy-efficient buildings programs can be found online at