New Buildings Institute Blog

Government Leadership Creates Powerful Action on Deep Energy Efficiency and Climate Change

Dave Hewitt's picture

Vermont, California, Kentucky, Pima County, Salt Lake City, Fort Collins, Washington DC. These communities are among those leading by example in setting zero net energy (ZNE) goals for both local policies and their own government buildings. Policymakers in these jurisdictions know that local action is critical to curbing the devastating effects carbon emissions create on the climate and simultaneously reduce energy costs across their facilities. Read more »

Ohio Lawmakers Strike a Blow to Sustainability in the Built Environment

Ralph DiNola's picture

You might not think of Ohio as a standard bearer of the sustainability movement, but according to that state’s U.S. Green Building Council, it ranks No. 1 in the nation for green schools. These schools provide healthy learning environments by increasing access to natural daylight, which studies have shown can dramatically improve student performance, and reducing toxic chemicals in materials. They are energy-efficient, saving tax payer dollars year after year, and use locally sourced and recycled products. Read more »

The Widespread Success of ZNE Hinges on the Bottom Line, But Whose?

Ralph DiNola's picture

In addition to my job at NBI, I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve on several boards, including Cascadia Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute. My work has allowed me the opportunity to get to know a lot of people in the regional green building industry. The recent Net Positive Energy + Water conference was especially thrilling for me because I got to meet, hear, converse, share and compare experiences with many new people, not just the usual suspects and to me that is a positive sign.
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ZNE - The Story Continues…

Amy Cortese's picture

NBI’s recently released 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update provides a snapshot of the advancing zero net energy (ZNE) market in commercial buildings. While the market is still very small, the number of buildings achieving ZNE Verified performance or those targeting ZNE has more than doubled in just two years - from 60 in 2012 to 160 projects in 2014. While the growing list of net zero energy buildings is definitely encouraging, this snapshot is only part of a rapidly evolving story. Read more »

Zero Net Energy Buildings: The Future Is Now

Ralph DiNola's picture

A quiet revolution is unfolding across North America; a simple and captivating idea is taking hold in executive suites, board rooms, design studios, on constructions sites, among political leaders, citizens, school teachers and students alike. Zero net energy (ZNE)—ultra-efficient structures that use only as much energy as can be produced onsite through clean, renewable resources--provide a vision of our potential future…today. Read more »

Looking Back and Forward . . . to a New Year

Stacey Hobart's picture

Every so often it’s good to look back on the path you’ve been traveling to make sure you’re still headed in the right direction. So here at the end of 2013, we at NBI are reflecting on the highlights of the past 12 months. Without a doubt, zero net energy (ZNE) and realizing energy savings in existing buildings--both through improved energy codes and technical support for deep energy retrofit projects--dominated our work. Read more »

New Products Leverage LED's Unique Qualities

Barb Hamilton's picture

Recently, I had the long-awaited opportunity to see new lighting products that apply LEDs in ways that leverage their unique qualities: tiny size, strong directional nature and high efficiency potential for a new aesthetic. Read more »

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 »