Intelligent Campus

NREL's Intelligent Campus program enables researchers and energy managers to study the integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, make operational decisions that minimize emissions or enhance resiliency, and support a variety of research projects.

The program supports the laboratory's mission to provide knowledge and tools to integrate and optimize energy systems.

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A Living Laboratory Research Team

The Intelligent Campus team is a multidisciplinary collaboration of diverse experts throughout NREL, including researchers, analysts, operations staff, and leadership. NREL demonstrates a living laboratory environment by implementing early-stage strategies and technologies in its facilities and studying their adoption and effectiveness through participation by campus staff.

NREL's Intelligent Campus provides opportunities for researchers to test and validate pioneering energy management information system technologies. The program creates pathways for researchers to partner with NREL's site operations teams for pilot projects to ensure that research will have the greatest impact and transferability for real-world application.

The interdisciplinary, cross-cutting structure of the Intelligent Campus program encourages knowledge sharing that enables:

  • Valuable insights, guidance, and tactical approaches to achieve future NREL campus goals, including new construction, resilience, and decarbonization and sustainability initiatives such as Net Zero NREL
  • Measurement and validation of campus energy performance
  • More efficient sustainability reporting and coaching to other federal sites in their own efforts to meet goals and requirements
  • Campus-scale energy data analysis and dissemination.

Energy Performance Data and Intelligent Campus Operations

Photo of electric vehicle charging stations in NREL's parking garage.
Energy data from adaptive electric vehicle charging stations in an NREL parking garage is used for NREL's Intelligent Campus program.

The Intelligent Campus team instruments NREL campus facilities and assets with sensors, meters, and controls to collect and catalogue the performance data in a central energy management information system. This enables effective data storage, access, analysis, and integration to develop energy system analytics and support business decision makers. The Intelligent Campus program uses advanced visualizations to effectively present the data, engaging building occupants and visitors to better understand campus operations and their ability to directly contribute to NREL's sustainability goals.

Learn more about NREL's Research Support Facility Zero Energy Dashboard.


Energy Management Information System Powers NREL's Intelligent Campus, Federal Energy Management Program Fact Sheet (2020)

Integrating Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Into Commercial Buildings and Mixed-Use Communities: Design, Modeling, and Control Optimization Opportunities, ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (2020)

NREL's 'Living Laboratory' Provides Steppingstones to Real-World Impact, NREL News Story (2019)

Creating an Energy Intelligent Campus: Data Integration Challenges and Solutions at a Large Research Campus, ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (2016)


Michelle Slovensky

Intelligent Campus Program Manager