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Chrissi Antonopoulos, PhD

Residential Building Scientist

Chrissi Antonopoulos, PhD

Residential Building Scientist


Reducing energy consumption in the building sector is critical for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting climate goals. Chrissi Antonopoulos is a research leader in residential building science and human interactions with the built environment.

“I've always wanted to make a difference in in the world,” said Antonopoulos, who grew up in Portland and is based at PNNL’s Portland office. “We are constantly making headway toward a more carbon-neutral status for residential buildings. Along the way, I want to make sure our advances are available to all income levels.”

Antonopoulos focuses on the interactions among energy efficiency, urban heat and heat islands, air quality, and socio-demographics on the residential building stock.

Her research has practical applications. A study she led of 2020 wildfire smoke in a Portland house provided advice about how to minimize the effects of poor outdoor air quality inside a living space.

Antonopoulos’ expertise in residential building energy efficiency has advanced over the 15 years since she started work at PNNL as an intern.

Antonopoulos, who manages the Department of Energy’s Building America Solution Center, looks forward to a future of an electrified building sector, with heat pumps replacing gas furnaces, boilers, and other types of fossil fuel-based heating equipment. Just as important, she says, is insulation and air sealing to reduce air leakage in buildings. On top of that, Antonopoulos wants to ensure that building technology innovations benefit all income levels.

“One of the things that we've seen in the great energy transitions that have occurred from the 18th century until now is that these advances have often focused only on the people who can afford them,” Antonopoulos said. “This time, I hope we can make sure that those who need it most will have access.”

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