"The Energy Design Plugin is a free plugin for the Google SketchUp 3D drawing program. The plugin makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. The plugin also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp" to find out more...
"In partnership with the private sector, state and local government, national laboratories, and universities, the Building Technologies Program works to improve the efficiency of buildings and the equipment, components, and systems within them. The program supports R&D activities and provides tools, guidelines, training, and access to technical and financial resources. Read our program fact sheet for more information (PDF 363 KB)."  to find out more...
"The Building Technologies Program advances the research and development of the next generation of energy-efficient components, materials, and equipment. The Buildings R&D portfolio focuses on the following emerging technologies:
- Heating, Cooling, and Commercial Refrigeration
- Walls, Roofs, and Foundations
- Windows and Doors
To help near-term emerging technologies overcome market introduction barriers, the program uses a combination of strategies including demonstration/evaluation and technology procurement. These strategies are designed to increase buyer confidence and build demand for new energy-efficient technologies. Learn more about near-term emerging technologies and market introduction strategies."  to find out more...
Passage  from http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/energy_design_plugin.html
Passage  from http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/about/index.html
Passage  & Image from http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/tech/emerging.html