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Building Construction Technology Extension Program (BCTEP) Pilot Projects 2012-BCTEP-01

Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)

Back to Closed Federal Funding Opportunities


NIST invites proposals from eligible proposers to fund projects under a new pilot Building Construction Technology Extension Program (BCTEP). The pilot program will address increasing energy efficiency in commercial and industrial building operations. The pilot program will focus on "re-tuning," which is a systematic semi-automated process of identifying operational problems in commercial and industrial buildings. Re-tuning leverages data collected from the building automation system to identify opportunities to improve the building operations and provides guidance on implementing corrections at no cost or very low cost, leading to reduction in the overall energy consumption. An existing retuning curriculum and support materials for large buildings with sophisticated building control systems are available from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). PNNL will participate in this effort as an advisor to NIST on the retuning curriculum and materials, as well as in-building techniques and methods of retuning buildings.

The BCTEP has been established pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 278k(g), which authorizes the establishment of an innovative services initiative to assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers in:

a. reducing their energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental waste to improve profitability;

b. accelerating the domestic commercialization of new product technologies, including components for renewable energy and energy efficiency systems; and

c. identification of and diversification to new markets, including support for transitioning to the production of components for renewable energy and energy efficiency systems.

Pilot projects will be selected for funding under the BCTEP in collaboration with the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Building Technologies Program (BTP). BTP has provided funding to NIST for these pilot projects and will participate in both proposal review and project execution as an advisor to NIST. BTP's mission is to develop technologies, techniques, and tools for making buildings more energy efficient, productive, and affordable. BTP focuses on improving commercial and residential building components, energy modeling tools, building energy codes and appliance standards. Within BTP, the Commercial Building Initiative (CBI) aims to significantly improve the energy efficiency of new and existing commercial buildings. To achieve this goal, CBI researches technologies, strategies, and tools to improve energy savings over current building codes. CBI also engages commercial building owners and operators to ensure these technologies are market-ready. Through CBI, BTP participates in the President's Better Buildings Initiative (BBI), which aims to make commercial buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade. The BBI specifically identifies providing more workforce training in areas such as energy auditing and building operations, as well as the creation of the BCTEP.

This competition addresses only Section I.a. of this FFO (reducing their energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental waste to improve profitability). Funded projects shall address the training of the next generation of commercial and industrial building technology workers, specifically for commercial and industrial buildings with a building automation system (BAS) and small-to-medium commercial and industrial buildings that currently do not have a BAS installed and are expected to become Centers for Building Operations Excellence (CBOEs). The training to be developed and provided shall be based on training materials and curricula on building re-tuning and other aspects of commercial building operations currently available from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) or the equivalent curriculum/materials. As noted above, PNNL's existing retuning curriculum and support materials were developed for large buildings with sophisticated building control systems The pilot efforts under this FFO are intended to apply to smaller commercial and industrial buildings that may have individual components but not sophisticated building control systems.

Re-tuning is a systematic process that leverages data from the building automation system to identify operational problems. It can be considered as a scaled down retro-commissioning (RCx) process, providing most of the benefits associated with RCx, but at a fraction of the cost. RCx is a systematic, documented process that identifies relatively low-cost operational and maintenance improvements in existing buildings and brings the buildings up to the design intentions of its current usage. RCx typically focuses on energy-using equipment such as mechanical equipment, lighting and related controls and usually optimizes existing system performance, rather than relying on major equipment replacement, typically resulting in improved indoor air quality, comfort, controls, energy and resource efficiency. RCx typically includes an audit of the entire building including a study of past utility bills, interviews with facility personnel, then diagnostic monitoring and functional tests of building systems are executed and analyzed. Building systems are retested and remonitored to fine-tune improvements. This process helps find and repair operational problems.

Proposers choosing not to rely on PNNL's materials shall demonstrate how their proposed materials are equivalent or better. MEP Centers and the technical/community colleges are expected to collaborate to identify appropriate manufacturers and facilities meeting the building type criteria above to field test the training and workers' competence to retune a building. Competitive projects will use innovative and collaborative approaches to develop, modify and deploy the training and to share those approaches with the MEP nationwide network. Successful proposers are expected to fully share their curricula and materials with the goal of having a single, national program curriculum available.

It is important that funded BCTEP pilot projects be well aligned with the MEP nationwide network in order to maximize the potential and impact of existing resources available through the MEP Program. Information regarding the MEP Program is available on this website.

For additional information about the pilot program, please click here.

UDPATE: Due date for submission of proposals has been changed from March 30, 2012 to April 13, 2012.To view full Federal Funding Opportunity, click here.Please submit your proposals via

Building Construction Technology Extension Program (BCTEP) Pilot Projects

2012-BCTEP-01 Competition Time-line:

  • February 14, 2012 - Post Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) – 45 days posting
  • April 13, 2012 – FFO Closes and Review Process Begins
  • Late April 2012 – Review of Proposals Completed
  • Early Mid-May 2012 – Selection
  • Late May-June 2012 – Preparation and processing of Cooperative Agreement(s) through MEP and NIST Grants Office
  • July 2012 - Award

Webinar Information Session.

The presentation slides and

are available online. 


Additional Resources regarding the BCTEP Federal Funding Opportunity Requirements:

General Information on the current Re-Tuning Program

Online Curriculum of the current Re-Tuning Curriculum (note there is also a classroom based curriculum)
For any additional questions, please contact Diane Henderson, diane.henderson [at] (diane[dot]henderson[at]nist[dot]gov) | 301-975-5105 or Dave Cranmer, dave.cranmer [at] (dave[dot]cranmer[at]nist[dot]gov) | 301-975-5753.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions and Responses (updated daily).


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created September 9, 2014, Updated June 2, 2021