Located in the heart of Boston’s Innovation District, the Living Laboratory is home to Fraunhofer CSE’s Massachusetts R&D center for the advancement of sustainable energy systems. Born out of a 2013 energy-retrofit of a 100-year-old building, the Lab leverages cutting-edge design concepts and historic architecture alongside in-house research facilities, including a pilot solar module fabrication line, dedicated thermal testing laboratory, and extensive characterization/environmental testing resources.
Building History: From the first brick laid to the complete overhaul in 2013, discover the story behind 5 Channel Center and how it came to be Massachusetts’s Center for Sustainable Energy Systems.
Building Technology Showcase Exhibit: The Lab’s first floor offers an interactive educational exhibit that is designed to showcase new technologies to facilitate the widespread adoption of commercial and residential energy-saving technologies.
Visiting the Living Laboratory
In addition to serving as Fraunhofer CSE's research headquarters in Massachusetts, the Living Lab is also a venue for sustainable energy education. We offer a guided walking tour that highlights the energy-saving technologies and innovative research deployed in the Living Lab to expand awareness and accelerate adoption of innovative building solutions.
Tours are conducted the first Wednesday of every other month. The tour starts at 4:00 PM and lasts for approximately 60 minutes. Space is limited to 15 people.
Tours can be arranged for nonprofit partner organizations, industry and trade associations, and other groups by special request.
To reserve your individual tour or request a group tour, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Building Technology Showcase, or BTS, is a deep energy retrofit of a historic building, incorporating a variety of energy-efficient systems, materials and measures to create significant reductions in whole-building energy consumption.
A building management system (BMS) provided by Siemens can monitor and control all functional components of the Showcase to optimize economy, efficiency, and comfort. Additional support was provided by a continuous commissioning system from Cimetrics that monitored performance and energy consumption, then used this information to identify potential issues or create recommendations for efficiency improvements.
The Showcase saves energy by reducing heating and cooling loads and using more energy-efficient HVAC systems. Installed features include:
The Showcase uses a combination of energy-saving LEDs and natural daylighting. The majority of the building uses LED products donated by Philips, including a Color Kinetic system installed in the building's exhibit space. Additional LED products have been provided by TerraLUX and Digital Lumens.
The efficiency of the building's lighting systems is further enhanced by use of dedicated lighting controllers donated by OSRAM and Phillips.
Other features in the building include: