UNT building Zero Energy Research Lab

Rendering of the Zero Energry Research LabUNT is cultivating a high-quality green-collar workforce by building a state-of-the-art Zero Energy Research Laboratory — the first of its kind in the U.S. It will give students and faculty a place to get firsthand experience with future sustainable energy technologies.

Construction of the 1,200-square-foot facility began in July. The lab, located at UNT's Discovery Park, is designed to test emerging technologies such as structure-integrated insulation, building-integrated solar panels, energy efficient windows, and energy storage and monitoring systems for the smart grid.

Initially, the facility will be powered by solar energy. Other alternative energy sources such as wind will be added to allow a wide range of zero-energy building research.

At the lab ground-breaking were, from left, Miguel Garcia, engineering professor; Costas Tsatsoulis, dean of the College of Engineering; Yong Tao, chair of the mechanical and energy engineering department; U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess (’72, ’76 M.S.); UNT Chancellor Lee Jackson; and Ruthanne Thomas, associate vice president for research. (Photo by Gary Payne)The $1.15 million project is funded with a combination of state Higher Education Assistance Funds, UNT operating funds and gifts-in-kind.