U.S. Building Stock Characterization Study

A National Typology for Decarbonizing U.S. Buildings

To support the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Building Construction (ABC) Collaborative, NREL has been tasked with characterizing the U.S. building stock and developing a national typology of buildings. The potential use cases of such a typology are flexible and evolving, but the primary intention is to help identify technology requirements and engineering solutions for moving the U.S. building stock toward a zero-carbon future by midcentury. This study was developed by NREL, with input from the ABC Analysis Working Group, which is a subset of the ABC Collaborative led by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The publication supporting this work can be found at: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy22osti/83063.pdf. The initial release includes just residential buildings, but commercial buildings will be added to the study in spring 2022.

Using NREL’s ResStock™ model, we segment the United States housing stock into 165 subgroups based on climate zone, wall structure, housing type, and year of construction, and for each segment we quantify the thermal energy use (defined here as energy for heating, ventilating, cooling, and water heating) by end use and segment. This allows for prioritization of different building segments and technologies for targeted efficiency or electrification upgrades.

Accompanying the published report, we have prepared a set of interactive visualizations that allow users to explore in greater detail the characteristics of housing in the U.S. and to develop custom segmentations. These dashboards also allow greater geographic resolution. In the static published report, we present results at the climate zone level, but the dashboards allow for segmentation down to the county level.

Interactive visualizations for the U.S. Building Stock Characterization Study, made using ResStock and ComStock

Residential Segments - The raw data behind this dashboard can be downloaded here (metadata.tsv file; can be opened in Microsoft Excel).

Residential Component Loads

Commercial Segments

Commercial Component Loads


For further information on this work, please see:

  • Reyna, Janet, Eric Wilson, Andrew Parker, Aven Satre-Meloy, Amy Egerter, Carlo Bianchi, Marlena Praprost, Andrew Speake, et al. 2022. U.S. Building Stock Characterization Study: A National Typology for Decarbonizing U.S. Buildings. NREL/TP-5500-83063. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy22osti/83063.pdf

Contact: resstock@nrel.gov or janet.reyna@nrel.gov

Please let us know of any additional queries through the dashboards that could be supportive of your work or research.

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