Energy-efficient homes are important for energy conservation and utility cost savings. PNNL, working with multiple sponsors, conducts experiments focused on reducing energy use and peak demand, using PNNL’s Lab Homes located on the PNNL campus. The Lab Homes facility—the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest region—was established in 2011 when PNNL purchased two custom factory-built double-wide homes and set them up, side by side, to conduct energy research. The Lab Homes serve as a laboratory where new building technologies can be tested in a closely monitored environment that replicates how normal homes operate.
The Lab Homes provide researchers at PNNL and our partners in academia and industry with a project test-bed that enables us better understand how new technologies and policies can be used to create highly energy-efficient homes. The Lab Homes site has a baseline home and an experimental home. In each study, the baseline home serves as a control typifying an average existing home while the experimental home is used to test a new technology. These homes are identical in nearly every respect except for the equipment being tested. They are typical of existing homes in the Inland Northwest, east of the Cascade mountain range.
Researchers and sponsors can access results and reports as new energy-saving technologies are tested. By studying new energy-efficient technologies in a setting that closely imitates real homes, researchers can get a better understanding of the true energy savings potential for homeowners, and gain insights into how a technology could be improved. The technologies tested in these homes may one day be common in all homes, helping save energy and water while reducing costs and protecting the environment.
Learn more on the Lab Homes website.