Andre Anders, a senior scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, leads the team that develops technology for "smart" windows. The window glass lets more or less light into a building depending on the climate outside and on settings by an occupant or automated system. The windows have special coatings such as zinc oxide that allow them to darken and lighten.
A vast array of technologies exists today for making buildings greener, such as automated window shades, intelligent lighting controls, and smart heating and cooling. But how well do these components work together? With little field-testing of integrated building technologies, these questions are rarely answered.
Enter FLEXLAB. Like a giant, life-size set of building blocks, FLEXLAB will allow researchers and manufacturers to test buildings systems under “real-world” conditions, swap out configurations, and allow rigorous performance monitoring of key systems that impact energy consumption.