Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Buildings-Grid Integration banner

Buildings-Grid Integration

With approximately 125 million homes and more than 5 million commercial buildings, the majority of our nation's electricity is used to power the built environment. Continuing advances in efficient and "smart" technologies, as well as onsite renewable energy, are changing the way power is used in homes, offices, and industries across the country.

With deep roots in advanced controls, energy analysis, and smart grid research, our expertise covers a range of key disciplines, including:

  • Transactive energy and control
  • Building control systems
  • Grid and building cybersecurity
  • Data analytics and modeling
  • Interoperability and connected equipment
  • Energy storage.

We support a vision where sensors, control systems, and other technologies work together to manage energy use. Tools that we've developed can coordinate electricity generation and consumption onsite, or "behind the meter." This expands the definition of connected buildings while improving efficiency and reducing costs and the impact on our grid.

  • Karan Kalsi

    PNNL Engineer Wins Brodzinski Award for Early Career Achievement

    Karan Kalsi, a PNNL power systems research engineer, has received the Lab's 2018 Ronald L. Brodzinski Award for Early Career Exceptional Achievement. He received the honor for accomplishments in developing and applying control strategies for enhanced security, reliability and efficiency of large-scale complex infrastructure energy systems.

  • Nora Wang

    Developing Buildings of the Future, Wang Wins Lab Director Award

    Regarded as a national expert in building energy-efficiency rating and evaluation, PNNL senior engineer Nora Wang has a track record of leading multidisciplinary teams through complex projects focused on improving energy efficiency of buildings. Her outstanding scientific work earned her PNNL's 2018 Laboratory Director's Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement.

  • Getting More Out of Control All the Time

    Getting More Out of Control All the Time

    Control Day at PNNL, held on August 29, highlighted PNNL-developed control capabilities for large infrastructures, like the power grid, and other applications.

  • Osman Ahmed

    PNNL's Osman Ahmed Helms International Technology Management Organization

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Osman Ahmed has been elected president of the International Association for Management of Technology. The organization focuses on technology and innovation that create corporate wealth, both intellectual and capital. IAMOT promotes research on technology investment strategies that enhance the viability of business and industry and bring the benefits of technology to the public.

  • Jud Virden

    Jud Virden "Building" Interest with Congressional Committee

    To achieve building efficiency goals, the nation must continue to close gaps in specific science and technology areas. This was a key message that Jud Virden, PNNL's Associate Laboratory Director for Energy & Environment, delivered to members of Congress on October 31 in Washington, D.C.

  • PNNL’s Clean Energy and Transactive Campus project

    VOLTTRON™ User Community Expands Overseas

    Researchers from the Korea Institute of Energy Research are collaborating with PNNL and using VOLTTRON™ to expand their energy management testbed in South Korea. The institute wants to create a community level energy management system using transactive control, similar to what PNNL is doing with the Clean Energy and Transactive Campus project.

  • Karan Kalsi

    Kalsi Selected for Caltech Appointment

    Karan Kalsi will serve as a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The year-long appointment is expected to start September 1 and is the latest in a growing number of collaborative activities between PNNL and Caltech.

  • VOLTTRON Team Recognized by PNNL Director

    VOLTTRON™ Team Recognized by PNNL Director

    The 2017 Award for Exceptional Team Achievement in Science & Technology went to PNNL's VOLTTRON™ team. The VOLTTRON™ team is recognized for creating a software platform for distributed control and sensing and successfully transitioning this platform to multiple vendors to implement energy efficiency, diagnostics, and transactive energy methods.

  • Researcher Michael Poplawski

    Power Over Ethernet — Power Over Lighting

    A recently published report—authored by PNNL lighting research engineers Jason Tuenge and Michael Poplawski—represents the first part of a DOE study to explore the energy reporting capability of commercially marketed power over ethernet connected lighting systems, which may become a data-collection platform that enables greater energy savings in buildings and cities.

  • Building Controls Measures Can Reap Substantial Energy Rewards

    Building Controls Measures Can Reap Substantial Energy Rewards

    By taking basic steps to improve operational systems within offices, schools, and commercial structures, U.S. energy consumption could decrease so dramatically that it would equate to 12 to 15 million Americans stopping their energy use altogether. This potential outcome is one finding from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's groundbreaking study, "Impacts of Commercial Building Controls on Energy Savings and Peak Load Reduction."

Buildings-Grid Integration

Research Areas