Residential Research

NREL's residential buildings research focuses on developing solutions that accelerate the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency technologies and best practices into the U.S. homebuilding and retrofit markets.

People standing in front of a building structure.

Our researchers explore energy efficiency options for new and existing homes, including whole-house performance and the interaction of building components. We work to identify barriers and provide engineering solutions that support the nation's energy goals across the residential building sector.

Our partners include leading manufacturers, utility programs, federal agencies, universities, and other groups to evaluate and deliver innovative solutions to key decision makers in the residential sector.

Our team creates and delivers unique capabilities, grounded in science, vetted by the industry, and built on a longstanding collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and market leaders.

Analysis at Multiple Scales

This research includes providing unique software solutions and data that are critical in developing new products and systems, designing new construction and home retrofit packages for cost-effective energy efficiency, and establishing performance targets and packages for energy efficiency programs.

Examples of successful tools include two R&D 100 Award recipients.

  • The ResStock™ analysis tool is helping states, municipalities, utilities, and manufacturers identify which home improvements save the most energy and money.

  • As a secure home automation system, foresee™ coordinates the operation of connected appliances, home batteries, and rooftop solar, satisfying homeowner values and preferences along with utility grid needs.

Learn more about building energy modeling »

Industrialized Construction

NREL is working to achieve zero energy buildings through cost-effective advanced manufacturing and construction. To successfully integrate energy efficiency into advanced manufacturing and modular construction, NREL researchers are partnering with industry to using the benefits of industrialized construction, which include higher-quality buildings, faster construction timelines, improved productivity, increased technology integration, and labor cost savings.

Learn more about industrialized construction »

Laboratory Experimentation

Our laboratory and real-world testing capabilities are unmatched. From building components and systems to whole buildings, we deliver the accurate data necessary to develop and demonstrate better products, systems, and strategies that improve energy efficiency in homes. This includes working for utilities and manufacturers to conduct laboratory and field testing on novel technologies and systems to ensure that innovations can reliably deliver whole-house cost and performance benefits that maximize value and minimize risk.

Learn more about our Systems Performance Laboratory »

Workforce Development and Education

Researchers at NREL are passionate about nurturing tomorrow's leaders and elevating the skills of today's workforce. A primary research objective is the success of the U.S. Department of Energy Building America Program, which partners with the nation's most forward-thinking building scientists, homebuilders, remodelers, and other stakeholders. An industry-driven research initiative that develops innovative solutions to achieve significant energy and cost savings for homeowners and builders.


Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts

Manager, Residential Buildings Research Group