Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

Georgia Tech Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

A Living, Learning Laboratory for Net-Zero

The mission for Georgia Tech’s Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions (C-NES) Laboratory is simple: carbon-neutral “net-zero site energy use” expressed simply, directly and honestly through a “no frills” design. The lab is intended to set a new standard for sustainable design for buildings of its type, by optimizing passive energy technologies, reducing electricity loads and maximizing the use of renewable energy. It houses a variety of energy research programs requiring large-scale (high-bay) and intermediate-scale (mid-bay) capabilities, whose objective is to develop sophisticated approaches to meeting energy needs with carbon-neutral aspirations. The project enables this research by creating a flexible facility to serve as an interdisciplinary center for translational and pre-commercialization research in energy conversion technologies.

Key features include:

  • The building is elongated along its east-west axis, creating long north and south elevations, and shorter east and west elevations, optimizing it for passive design. Sunlight from the north and south is easier to control, to shade for heat gain and to collect for energy generation.  
  • By design, artificial light is not required during daylight hours. Lights can be turned off when the lab is not in use. Multi-tiered lighting controls allow for fully lighting an individual workspace without lighting unoccupied areas.
  • Expanded acceptable temperature range and greater air circulation and venting conserve energy used for heating and cooling while maintaining occupant comfort.  
  • Other innovative passive energy components include energy recovery, solar desiccant recharge and innovative active energy conserving elements include radiant heating, displacement ventilation and localized exhaust in small heat intensive areas.
  • The site is designed to expand the Institute’s campus-wide initiative to move towards a more natural ecology and dramatically increase water conservation, efficiency and quality.  

The project and effort depicted is sponsored by the Department of Commerce under the grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The content above does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the U.S. government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Georgia Tech Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory
Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA
United States

42,000 sf (3,900m²)
LEED Certified Platinum


2013 Lab of the Year Award
High Honors
R&D Magazine
2013 Beyond Green™ Award of Merit
High Distinction in High-Performance Buildings
National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
2013 Merit Award
Excellence in Architecture
Society of College and University Planners (SCUP)/AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA-CAE)
2012 Merit Award
General Design Category
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Georgia Chapter
2012 Best Project
Green Building Category
ENR Southeast
2012 Merit Award
Built Category
AIA, Georgia Chapter
2009 Merit Award
Unbuilt Category
AIA, New Jersey Chapter