"FLEXLAB came out of 25 years of trying to figure out how things work in the real world," says Selkowitz, leader of the windows and envelope materials group and senior adviser for building science with the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
Now in the commissioning phase, the $15.7-million lab is the first new user facility of LBNL's building-technologies branch, which Selkowitz led from 1985 to 2011. FLEXLAB is seeking building-sector stakeholders to rent any or all of its four test beds for controlled experiments on integrated building systems. "The integration challenge is fundamentally the biggest obstacle to building energy conservation," says Selkowitz.