RICHLAND, Wash. — Two new research home facilities at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will serve as a test bed for studying energy efficient and smart home technology.

“The PNNL Lab Homes project is the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest region,” said Steve Shankle, director of PNNL’s Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division. “The facilities will be an excellent resource for PNNL and its regional and national partners to test a variety of smart and energy efficient technologies that ultimately may be used in homes in the Northwest and throughout the U.S.”

PNNL and its partners will use the identical, 1,500-square-foot Marlette manufactured homes for experiments focused on reducing energy use and peak demand on the electric grid. Research and demonstration primarily will focus on technologies that can be added to a home after construction, and the homes will offer a side-by-side ability to test and compare new ideas and approaches that are applicable to site-built as well as manufactured homes in the region.

In each study, one home will remain a control typifying an average, existing home in the region, while the other home will test a new technology. Occupancy in each home will be simulated to account for human activity.

For more information on current and future research projects, visit

Publication date: 12/26/2011