Cindy Regnier, manager of the world's first research laboratory for full-scale performance mock-ups of integrated green-building systems, is canvassing the globe to find partners and research sponsors for the facility, called FLEXLAB. Regnier is bent on doing her part to create a new paradigm for energy conservation in buildings. And she is using the lab as a springboard.
She seems to be succeeding. The $15.7-million FLEXLAB, which stands for "Facility for Low-Energy Experiments in Buildings," is still under construction on the campus of the U.S. Energy Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. Yet researchers in Norway and Singapore are so impressed with the idea of multisystem validation tests for energy conservation in office buildings that they already are planning to build FLEXLAB clones. "It's exciting to see that, before we're even operational, we're having an impact abroad," says Regnier.