$8M Grant to Fund Core Research in Radiant Systems


Center for the Built Environment Research to Focus on Radiant Heating and Cooling in Commercial Buildings

LEESBURG, Va., March 5, 2015 – REHAU, an international polymer innovator in construction, automotive and industry, is a Sustaining Member of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) of the Center for the Built Environment (CBE), which recently announced that it had been awarded a total of $8 million to fund core research in radiant systems. 

The research will focus on improving the understanding of radiant systems and task/ambient approaches to workplace comfort, as well as research and development in new technologies for monitoring and control of commercial buildings. 

The CBE, part of the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design, is a collaboration linking industry with academia with the goal of improving the design, operation and environmental quality of buildings by providing timely, objective information on building technologies and design techniques.

The research grants received by the CBE include one each of $2.9 and $2.5 million funded by the California Energy Commission under the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) and a third award of $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E).

Recognizing radiant as an emerging technology showing a large potential for energy savings, peak demand reduction and load shifting compared to conventional space conditioning systems, the CBE will use the $2.9 million funding support for research specific to radiant heating and cooling systems in commercial buildings.

The research team intends to develop tools for industry professionals to optimize the design and operation of buildings with these systems. Working in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s new FLEXLAB facility, and in Price Industries’ Hydronic Test Chamber in Winnipeg, the research will include full-scale testing of energy and heat transfer fundamentals of radiant systems. The project is expected to make a significant contribution to improving the understanding and use of radiant systems in commercial applications.

“This research grant is an exceptional opportunity to elevate the understanding of game-changing integrated building technologies like radiant heating and cooling,” said Ryan Westlund, building technology commercial project manager at REHAU. “The CBE is highly respected for its thorough research into today’s most significant building challenges. We are excited to support the CBE in this effort, and to share our experiences as both a designer and manufacturer of radiant heating and cooling systems."

In its IAB role, REHAU works with the CBE to recommend and conduct studies on the latest building technologies, including radiant heating and cooling.

When REHAU joined the IAB in 2011, CBE Director of Communications David Lehrer commented on the important role of industry collaborators in sharing knowledge on the latest practices in engineering, design and product and system implementation. "Input from companies like REHAU helps to ensure our research is focused on the topics that are most relevant and helpful to today’s building industry," he said.

For additional information on the Center for the Built Environment, contact: Phone: 510.642.4950. Web site: www.cbe.berkeley.edu.

For additional information on the comprehensive offering of REHAU sustainable building technologies, contact: REHAU, 1501 Edwards Ferry Rd., N.E., Leesburg, Va., 20176. Phone: 1.800.247.9445. Fax: 1.800.627.3428. E-mail: rehau.mailbox@rehau.com. Web site: www.na.rehau.com/mp.

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REHAU delivers “Unlimited Polymer Solutions,” and is the premium worldwide brand for polymer-based innovations and systems in construction, automotive and industry. The company generates continuous growth through its expertise and innovative capabilities in materials development, systems design and surface technology. Approximately 18,000 employees at more than 170 locations around the world ensure success of the independent, privately held company.

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