Building towards a ‘zero energy’ future

In the lead-up to the International Green Building Conference 2014, Eco-Business speaks to leading building energy efficiency researcher Stephen Selkowitz on the challenges of building green in the tropics and the future of zero energy buildings.

By Vaidehi Shah PUBLISHED 12 August 2014

Building owners who have saved energy and money by installing glazed windows on their property to keep out the sun’s heat can thank Stephen Selkowitz for developing the coatings that make these savings possible.

Dubbed “the Steve Jobs in the world of energy efficient buildings”, the American researcher on building energy efficiency has spent much of his 36-year long career looking at ways to reduce the energy lost through building envelopes – that is, the windows, walls, and roofs that separate the building interior from the outdoors.

For two decades since the late 1980s, he led a research team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory which developed “low-e” or low-emissivity window coatings that reduced the amount of heat that passes through glass.

Selkowitz also helped take the product from the laboratory to market by working closely with governments, architects and contractors. Today, this technology is used in buildings across the world and has saved US$7.7 billion in energy costs to date according to the US National Academy of Scientists.

Selkowitz was also the brains behind the “most advanced building efficiency simulator in the world” – the Facility for Low Energy Experiments (FLEXLab) launched in 2013. This unique facility consists of four test beds where users can trial energy efficient features such as skylights, window materials and cooling systems on a small scale before implementing them in commercial projects.

Read the full article, courtesy of Eco-Business: