New Buildings Institute Blog

Bold Action on Climate Change

Stacey Hobart's picture

Just before Halloween, some big news came out and then quickly slipped back beneath the radar. It’s easy to see why: a story of government collaboration and progress could hardly be expected to grab much attention in a news cycle still caught up in the federal shutdown and unsteady rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Read more »

Fault Detection and Diagnostics

Mark Cherniak's picture

Work initially done in California to improve economizers and support fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) on commercial rooftop HVAC units has now been applied at a national level. A recent adoption of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires economizer FDD on all new and replacement units starting with the 2015 code revision. The measure was proposed to the IECC by NBI and our partners through active participation in the NW Energy Codes Group that includes code stakeholders from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Read more »

A Positive Trend is Unfolding in the Building Industry

Ralph DiNola's picture

Since we gathered at the Getting to Zero National Forum with NASEO in Denver, Colo., we've been busy synthezing the outcomes of this first-of-its-kind event.  We had a sold-out crowd and received tremendous feedback on the depth and technical content of the sessions and the event overall. Read more »

Existing buildings get new emphasis and clarity in IECC and other I-Codes

Sean Denniston's picture

In seeming defiance of our own name, New Buildings Institute (NBI) has been working hard on a handful of key issues regarding existing buildings for the 2015 round of International Code Council (ICC) code development hearings. Recognizing the issues that exist in the I-Codes, especially in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), regarding historic buildings and existing buildings, NBI made these issues a priority in the 2015 code cycle. With the code hearings wrapping up last week, we thrilled to report on some big victories by large majorities in these areas. Read more »

My first 100 days (well, 114 to be exact)

Ralph DiNola's picture

Beginning with FDR, it has been a tradition for the President of the United States to plan an agenda for his (and in the future, her) first 100 days in office. When the milestone is reached, the leader takes a moment to stop and reflect on the progress made and the work that remains. Here at NBI, we took the same approach. I thought it would be fun to share the results. Read more »

Bubbles at the NBIL! Evaporative Sidecar Testing for Retrofitting Rooftop Units

Dan Harris's picture

We have seen the future and it is bubbly. This summer we’ve been busy testing the effectiveness of using an indirect evaporative air conditioner to retrofit an existing 5-ton rooftop unit (RTU) in the western Washington and Oregon climate. Testing is ongoing at the NBI Laboratory (NBIL), a 1000 square foot RTU testing facility where NBI has tested high performance RTUs and variable speed components in previous years. Read more »

California Leading by Example

Stacey Hobart's picture

More than 80 public building representatives met in Sacramento recently to kick off California’s ZNE Early Adopters Network. The meeting was the first of three planned sessions to support public sector leadership in zero-net energy (ZNE) practice, process, and planning in order to meet California’s Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan Big Bold goals for ZNE in new residential and commercial construction by 2020 and 2030, respectively. Read more »

Vermont is Willing to Stretch for Efficiency

Vermont adopted a “stretch code” for building energy efficiency in the spring of 2013. The stretch code will be developed through a public, statewide process and will then be available for local adoption by towns that want to go above and beyond the statewide energy code. NEEP’s guest-blogger George Twigg, Director of Public Affairs at Efficiency Vermont shares his perspective. Read blog

Energy Department Invests to Save Small Buildings Money by Saving Energy

Susan Harris's picture

Following the recent release of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) announced an investment that will reduce energy use while helping U.S. businesses reduce costs. A $10 million investment by USDOE is funding six projects to reduce carbon pollution and energy bills in small commercial buildings by increasing energy efficiency. Read more »

Getting to Zero National Forum Blog

Susan Harris's picture

Zero-net energy (ZNE) buildings, ultra-energy-efficient structures that produce as much energy on site than they consume over the course of a year, are gaining ground and national attention. NBI is partnering with NASEO to host “Getting to Zero National Forum” September 17-18. Attendees will share perspectives on the growth of ZNE policies and projects and discuss the future. In the meantime, a blog has been created to share ZNE related news and information leading up to the event. Follow the blog

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