The US Department of Energy (DOE) is providing $32 million (£24.6m) of funding for next-generation building retrofit projects.
A total of 30 projects will be supported, with seven testing renovation techniques that reduce disruption to tenants while upgrading the energy and environmental performance of buildings “more quickly, affordably and effectively”.
They include prefabricating walls and drop-in replacements for heating, cooling and hot water systems.
Other projects include using software tools to properly size and install retrofit packages in homes and demonstrating a solar integrated heat pump system for space and water heating.
According to the DOE, buildings in the US use 40% of the country’s energy and 75% of its electricity, making the sector responsible for around 35% of carbon emissions.
With new innovations, thermal energy use in buildings could be reduced by 75%, it adds.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “We’re in an all-out sprint to beat the climate crisis and that race runs straight through our nation’s building sector.
“Faster and more efficient construction and renovation methods that improve our nation’s supply of affordable housing are the kinds of transformative innovations we need to lower costs for working families and build a better America.”