Nov 11, 2010

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Infosys Co-Develop Design Software for Energy-Efficient Buildings

FREMONT, Calif: Infosys Technologies and U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are collaborating on the development of a graphical user interface (GUI) for the EnergyPlus building simulation engine that will assist Architects, Engineers, Designers and Developers to create the most energy efficient commercial buildings possible. Both EnergyPlus and the GUI will be widely available free to users.

Commercial buildings in the U.S. account for nearly three-quarters of all electricity consumption in the U.S., making them a major source of direct and indirect CO2 emissions. New construction or renovation of buildings into green buildings requires new software tools to predict the energy performance before work begins. The GUI developed jointly by Infosys and Berkeley Lab will make it much quicker and easier for architects and engineers to predict the energy and water consumption and peak electricity demand for different design alternatives. The goal is to improve the design process and reduce the operating costs of buildings.

"Building designers need new and advanced tools in order to meet our net zero energy building goals. This project is a great example of using innovative public/private partnerships to deliver advanced energy efficiency-enabling technologies to the marketplace," said James Boyd, Vice Chair of the California Energy Commission.

"As the Utility sector accelerates smart grid initiatives, it's vital that smart energy is also pursued in the design and remodeling of homes, schools, offices and other major structures. Infosys's collaboration with these leading organizations will help architects and engineers worldwide to develop Zero Net Energy buildings smarter, faster and easier than ever before," said Ankush Patel, Vice President of Utilities, Infosys.

Berkeley Lab's vision is to transform the U.S. commercial building sector in 15-20 years by saving more than four quadrillion BTUs of energy and reducing CO2 emissions by 400 million tons annually. This is equivalent to taking more than a third of current U.S. automobiles off the road.

"Our goal is to enable deep reductions in the energy consumption of existing buildings and help achieve major improvements in the energy efficiency of new buildings by developing and deploying advanced energy-efficient technologies in their design, construction and operation. Infosys's software development capabilities, together with its focus on sustainability, make it a natural partner for development of new simulation tools that will have a large measurable impact on greenhouse gas emissions and make buildings healthier and more comfortable," said Ashok Gadgil, Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Berkeley Lab.

The Development of the EnergyPlus GUI was funded by the US Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission and Infosys. The first version of EnergyPlus with the new GUI is expected to be released in the summer of 2011. EnergyPlus will be compatible with Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards and will assist designers with LEED certification, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards and California's Title-24 building energy code.