FLEXLAB is the first of its kind facility for green technology studies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. FLEXLAB, which stands for “Facility for Low-Energy Experiments in Buildings,” includes a total of four stand-alone test beds designed as small office buildings but with interchangeable parts. The lab will be the first to run dynamic tests that measure the energy use of green-building components and systems.
FLEXLAB contains a 64-ft-dia turntable, complete with its unique cable management system, for the world’s first revolving rent-a-lab for full-scale green-building-systems performance tests. The 1,610 square foot turntable test bed rotates 270 degrees. The lazy-Susan building tracks the sun from the southeast to the northeast, and will provide scientists with a facility in which to run full-scale, dynamic, mock-ups to measure and compare energy use of various building components, such as HVAC and window systems. FLEXLAB is outfitted with about 1,000 sensors for data collection, with potential for thousands more. Cameras record internal sun patterns for daylighting studies, while meters measure power, thermal loads, airflow, lighting and glare. The lab even has a weather station.
The project is funded by the US Department of Energy and is the first revolving test lab in the world. It is being emulated in Norway and Singapore.