DOE’s Commercial Building Initiative

The Commercial Building Initiative is a government research program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that focuses on improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings in the United States. Here you will learn more about the initiative, research areas, and audience.

Launched in August 2008, the Commercial Building Initiative (CBI) is the umbrella initiative that will guide and coordinate public and private partnerships to advance the development and market adoption of dramatic energy efficiency improvements in new and existing buildings. CBI works with researchers at DOE national laboratories, as well as with public and private partners, to develop technologies and strategies to improve building efficiency. Learn more about CBI in this fact sheetPDFSection 2.2PDF of the Building Technologies Program 2008 Multi-Year Program Plan (MYP) discusses CBI’s goals.

Technologies and Research

View CBI’s Key Research Areas for a list of the core, congressionally funded research efforts, which include indoor environmental quality, controls and diagnostics, and space conditioning. Also, DOE is researching the commercialization of advanced lighting solutions that achieve 50% energy savings. Section 2.3PDF of the 2008 MYP provides information about DOE’s work in lighting. The CBI technology development managers oversee all these research efforts.


CBI provides resources and tools to help commercial builders, building owners, contractors, engineers, and architects use whole building design and technologies to reduce energy use in commercial buildings.

Government, health care, school, office, and retail buildings can potentially cut energy costs in half, while improving building quality and comfort.

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