Joint venture creates the National Center for Energy Management and Building Technologies.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The National Center for Energy Management and Building Technologies, a joint venture between the federal Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Sheet Metal Workers union and its affiliated National Energy Management Institute, has been launched.

"Our mission is to open up greater access to technological developments," said John Wimer, NEMI board member. "What is really significant and important is that the national center is the vehicle for getting new technologies to the market."

The goal is to combine the economics of building performance with energy efficiency, according to program officials. More specifically, the center is looking to help design new buildings and retrofit existing buildings with energy reduction in mind.

"We can reduce energy in both commercial and residential buildings by reducing indoor air contamination," said Wimer. "Much of this can be done through practical preventative maintenance."

The center is currently researching the public building market and how retrofits can be applied to handle biological and chemical attacks.