Integrating Energy Efficiency Strategies with Industrialized Construction for Our Clean Energy Future: Preprint

Ankur Podder, Shanti Pless, Stacey Rothgeb, Noah Klammer, Cedar Blazek, Joseph Louis, Khandakar Rashid

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


NREL’s Industrialized Construction Innovation Team has developed an ambitious plan to accelerate the integration of energy efficiency (EE) strategies with Industrialized Construction (IC). The United States (U.S.) construction industry is beginning to use IC methods to build multifamily apartment buildings to address affordability and labor shortages. Apart from reducing cost of construction and delivery times, the IC method of permanent modular construction has the potential to facilitate the integration of a wide range of EE strategies and advanced controls into such buildings. While there may be unintended EE benefits to IC such as a tighter envelope due to higher construction quality, the process has not been leveraged specifically to enhance EE. NREL aims to claim this missed opportunity and integrate IC benefits with EE as well as advanced controls, distributed energy resources, and grid-friendly design strategies. The paper proposes an ‘IC Assessment Framework’ to achieve affordable zero-energy modular multifamily buildings. Through the selection criteria of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly, the framework aims to distill a broad range of proven EE strategies for site-built into a set of strategies that qualify as easy to integrate for off-site. The output is a Factory Information Model (FIM) that represents a process-based digital twin to enable advanced time-and-motion study, plugs into open source building energy modeling platform (EnergyPlus), and serves as a vital tool facilitating wider adoption of EE integration. Conclusively, the paper delineates next steps for upcoming pilots with NREL’s IC partners towards developing a transformational pathway for our Clean Energy Future.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings -
Duration: 17 Aug 202021 Aug 2020


Conference2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-77259


  • buildings
  • industrialized construction
  • integration of energy efficiency strategies


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