Residential Buildings Research Group National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Golden, Colorado
Existing energy-efficient retrofit methods are disruptive to building occupants and pose potential health and safety hazards to construction workers. The invasive and costly nature of current techniques results in only about 2% of homes and buildings undergoing deep energy efficiency retrofits each year.
Envision builders using a robotic drone that can seal building leaks; construction workers controlling a multi-legged robot that can insulate confined spaces; an autonomous drone that teams with a remediation robot to map, clean, and repair deficiencies, prioritizing worker safety and efficiency on the job site.
The $5 million American-Made E-ROBOT Prize paired robotic experts with building scientists to uncover and fast-track holistic solutions. The winning innovations in robotic technologies will complement the existing workforce, allowing workers to reach places or perform activities that were previously impossible while also helping to ensure quality and consistency. Cutting-edge retrofit capabilities can also create new employment and business opportunities for Americans in construction, skilled trades, and engineering professions. Hear more about the future of building retrofits from prize-winning innovators and the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office.