US Government Opens New Test Bed for Energy Efficiency; Genentech Signs up for Project

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has opened FLEXLAB, a test bed for evaluating energy efficiency in buildings, with Roche’s Genentech signing up for the project. The test bed is to be used by companies to evaluate how to reduce their energy use by testing and deploying energy-efficient technologies as integrated systems under real-world conditions. The facility includes a rotating test bed to track and test sun exposure impacts and other related technology features.

In the first test bed experiment, Genentech is leveraging FLEXLAB to test systems for a new building at its South San Francisco headquarters. “At Genentech, we are constantly innovating and following the science, so we were excited to apply this approach to energy efficiency and building optimization,” said Carla Boragno, Genentech vice president for site services, in a Berkeley Lab press release. “FLEXLAB represents a new type of experiment for us and presents the opportunity to be first-in-class in another area of innovation. We are proud to be the leading client of FLEXLAB.”

PG&E is next in line to use the facility to test technologies that focus on whole building systems for emerging technology incentives. It is testing alternatives in FLEXLAB, starting with innovations in building envelopes, lighting, and shading.

In FLEXLAB’s prelaunch private-sector experiment, Webcor, Genentech's contractor, is using the rotating test bed to plan a 250,000-square-foot building, which includes a built-out space that mimics Genentech's interior office space and will test for user comfort and utility.

Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the US DOE through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. It is located on a 200-acre site in the UC Berkeley campus in California.

Source: Berkeley Lab

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