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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

ORNL Buildings Crowdsourcing Campaign

Submit Your Technology Ideas to Advance Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Department of Energy - Energy Programs

Type of Challenge: Ideas
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Submission End: 05/31/2015 11:59 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


Submit your design ideas for energy efficient buildings technologies to Oak Ridge Laboratory’s crowdsourcing community. The best technical ideas will get recognized at ORNL Industry Day, in presentations and possibly with 3-D printed prototype of the design. By combining the ORNL crowdsourcing community with the state-of-the-art capabilities at ORNL, innovators can rapidly collaborate with ORNL and other industry partners to develop the next big thing for the buildings market, allowing residential and commercial buildings customers to save money and energy. New submissions and voting by online community members will run through the end of May. Ideas could be submitted within one of the three campaigns: Equipment & Appliances, Sensors & Controls, and Envelope Technologies. The five ideas with the highest votes per campaign will then be reviewed by a team of independent judges including ORNL building experts and industry partners. Judges will evaluate the technical feasibility of the top ideas. The judges will identify the best one idea per campaign that are technically feasible and with the greatest potential energy savings by the end of June. Design idea drawings or other supplemental materials may be requested, and prompt response is required to ensure timeliness of prototype 3-D printing.


3D Printing of Your Prototype and Opportunity to Present your Ideas
•Your idea will potentially be printed using ORNL’s 3-D printing capabilities. •You will be invited to present your idea at DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) Industry Day at ORNL in September. •Have the opportunity to network with ORNL scientists and Industry to potentially discuss future collaboration


Terms and Conditions: ORNL Buildings Community Introduction: UT-Battelle, LLC, managing and operating the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) pursuant to its Prime Contract with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is hosting three crowdsourcing idea campaigns (Campaigns):
  • Space Conditioning and Appliance Ideas
  • Sensors and Controls Ideas
  • Envelope Technologies Ideas
The goal of the idea Campaigns is to bring buildings sector stakeholders from industry, academia, and government, and technology innovation together, which will enable stakeholders to potentially shape the energy efficient building solutions reaching the market. The UT-Battelle team will rely on website users to vote on the best ideas with potential for transforming the building energy efficiency technologies market. A shortlist of the top five ideas per Campaign will be identified based on the highest number of votes received per idea. A group of independent technical judges consisting of UT-Battelle staff and other industry stakeholders will review the shortlisted ideas. The technical judges will evaluate the ideas based on criteria such as technical feasibility, energy saving potential, market size, and novelty of the idea. The technical judges will then select the best one or two ideas per Campaign. The best one or two ideas will be recognized during Industry Day taking place at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in September of 2015. The submitters of the best ideas will potentially be invited to attend Industry Day, at their own expense, to present their idea or participate in panel discussions. These Campaigns are being administered by UT-Battelle using the IdeaScale web platform. IdeaScale, UT-Battelle, and DOE, hereinafter “Supporters,” are cooperatively working to administer the Campaigns. Important Dates:
  • Submission Period Begins: Friday, February 20, 2015.
  • Submission Period Ends: Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • UT-Battelle reserves the right to modify the Submission, judging and/or voting periods at any time for any reason. IdeaScale’s server is the official time-keeping device for this Contest.
How to Enter:
  • If you do not have an IdeaScale account, visit and create an account.  As a registered participant in the Campaign (Participant), you will then be able to participate in the Campaign by making submissions that conform to the requirements set forth herein (each, a “Submission”).
  • From, select from one of the three Campaigns by clicking “Learn More” to access that specific Campaign site.
  •  Once on a Campaign-specific site, to submit your application, click the “Submit New Idea” button and provide the following information:
    • Submission title / Design name
    • A written description of the design or idea and its key achievements and benefits...
    • Select which Campaign the Submission best applies to.
    • Click “Submit”.
  • Submission Rights: All Submissions to the Campaign remain the intellectual property of the individuals or organizations that developed them. By providing the Submission to this Campaign, you grant to UT-Battelle, DOE, and the other Supporters a royalty-free license to: (i) use your Submission; (ii) post your Submission(s) on and other DOE and associated sites; and (iii) publicize the names, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state in any media, worldwide of Campaign Participants (including the individual members of a team) through social media and events of UT-Battelle’s or DOE's choosing without any additional payment or consideration. Such license shall remain in force in perpetuity. In addition, no Submissions to this Campaign amount to any express or implied contracts with any of the Supporters of this Campaign, including, but not limited to, UT-Battelle, DOE, or IdeaScale.
  • Deadline - The Submission must be complete and be ready for evaluation by Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST for judging purposes.
  • It is an express condition of Submission that each Participant warrants and represents that the Participant’s Submission is solely owned by the Participant, that the Submission is wholly original with the Participant, and that no other party has any ownership rights or ownership interest in the Submission.
  • Each Participant further represents and warrants to UT-Battelle and the other Supporters that the Submission, and any use thereof by UT-Battelle or the other Supporters (or any of their respective partners, subsidiaries and affiliates), shall not: (i) be defamatory or libelous in any manner toward any person, (ii) constitute or result in any misappropriation or other violation of any person's publicity rights or right of privacy, or (iii) infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, privacy rights, moral rights or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • Each Submission must be in English or, if in a language other than English, the Submission must be accompanied by an English translation of that text.
  • Submissions will be rejected without notice if they contain any matter that, in the sole discretion of UT-Battelle, is indecent, discriminatory, obscene, defamatory, libelous, in bad taste, or demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct.
  • If UT-Battelle, in its discretion, finds any Submission to be unacceptable, then such Submission may be deemed disqualified.
  • Participants will not receive any compensation or award in exchange for their Submissions.
Campaign Subject to Applicable Law: The Campaign is subject to all applicable federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations. Participation constitutes each Participant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Campaign. Submission Topic/Theme All Submissions should meet the intent and spirit of the Campaign, as previously defined in the Campaign summary.

Additional Terms and Conditions:

Liability Any and all information provided by or obtained from UT-Battelle is without any warranty or representation whatsoever, including but not limited to its suitability for any particular purpose. Upon registration, all Participants agree to assume and, thereby, have assumed any and all risks of injury or loss in connection with or in any way arising from participation in this Campaign. Upon registration, all Participants agree to and, thereby, do waive and release any and all claims or causes of action against UT-Battelle, DOE, and their officers, employees and agents for any and all injury and damage of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), arising from their participation in any of the Campaigns, whether the claim or cause of action arises under contract or tort. Upon registration, all Participants agree to and, thereby, shall indemnify and hold harmless UT-Battelle and the Federal Government (including DOE) and their officers, employees and agents for any and all injury and damage of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), including but not limited to any damage that may result from a virus, malware, etc., to Government computer systems or data, or to the systems or data of end-users of the software and/or application(s) which results, in whole or in part, from the fault, negligence, or wrongful act or omission of the participants or Participants' officers, employees or agents. Records Retention and FOIA All materials submitted to the Campaign as part of a Submission become DOE records and cannot be returned. No confidential commercial information should be contained in any Submission. Any Submission marked as containing confidential, business sensitive, or proprietary information, may be deemed disqualified. General Conditions UT-Battelle reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Campaign, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond UT-Battelle's reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Campaign, as determined by UT-Battelle in its sole discretion. UT-Battelle is not responsible for, nor is it required to count, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful, or illicit votes, including those secured through payment or achieved through automated means. Supporters assume no responsibility for electronic hardware, programming or software malfunctions, or failures, or line connections, accessibility or availability, or technical failures of any kind, or unauthorized human intervention, or the incorrect or inaccurate capture of any Submission or other information, or for the failure to capture any such information. Any personally identifiable information collected through the Campaign is subject to Sponsors’ privacy statement set forth at: The Campaign is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least eighteen (18) years old (or the age of majority in his/her state, whichever is older) at the time of entry. Employees of DOE, UT-Battelle, LLC and its parent and affiliate companies, its subcontractors, as well as immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of each such employee may participate in the Campaign, including, but not limited to, offering Submissions and voting on Submissions for Industry Day; however, their Submissions are not eligible to be recognized at Industry Day. Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, causes of action arising out of or connected with this Campaign shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville or the Circuit Court for Roane County, Tennessee; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Campaign, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to assert and claim based upon the duty of good faith and fair dealing, any claim for indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Rules, or the rights and obligations of any Sponsor in connection with this Campaign shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Tennessee, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Tennessee or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Tennessee. ALL DECISIONS BY UT-BATTELLE ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE CAMPAIGN.