Building Experts Needed To Tackle Critical Challenges for Clean Energy Economy

May 31, 2022 | Contact media relations

A neighborhood of homes in Golden, Colorado with rooftop solar installations.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provides technical support to the residential construction industry through its Subject Matter Experts (SME) program. SMEs provide a wide range of support through small-scale research, technical analysis and review, and mentorship to address 1) industry barriers hindering technical innovation/adoption, 2) the performance of technologies, and 3) the design of building systems. The goal is to enable affordability, comfort, carbon reduction, and energy savings in new and existing residential buildings.

SMEs are top experts in building science that are connected with industry stakeholders to help stakeholders meet their energy, emissions, and workforce goals. "It is essentially an on-demand building science tech support system," NREL Researcher Conor Dennehy said.

To increase effectiveness, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office's Residential Building Integration Program has funds for more experts to get involved. NREL opened a request, Residential Buildings Subject Matter Expert Technical Support, which closes on July 15, 2022. The request identifies the submitter's organization as an interested party that is eligible to be considered for the future request for proposal.

Lena Burkett is an NREL building scientist, supporting DOE's Building America Program, focusing on residential energy efficiency research.

"We're looking for SMEs with experience in a variety of topics related to residential buildings, so it's not necessary to have expertise in every facet of the field," Burkett said. Technical support activities are meant to align with DOE's research interests, such as small-scale lab or field research, energy modeling, industry analysis, codes and standards support, and stakeholder engagement.

To apply, experts need to provide an overview of their organization that includes:

  • A description of the expertise, experience, and capacity to perform all or a selection of the technical support areas
  • Experience representing or serving diverse entities
  • A list of regions, communities, and/or cities with which their organization has experience.

"We hope that potential SMEs find the 3- to 5-page submission to be a light lift," Burkett said.

This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office. The Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC manages and operates NREL for the U.S. Department of Energy. NREL's mission is to advance the science and engineering of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies.

Learn more about how to apply by July 15, 2022.