Zero Net Energy

Zero net energy (ZNE) buildings are ultra-efficient new construction and deep energy retrofit projects that consume only as much energy as they produce from clean, renewable resources.

2016 Getting to Zero National Forum October 12-14, 2016

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Code & Policy

Zero Net Energy Policies

Code & Policy / December 22, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Policies and programs can dramatically change the landscape for Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings. There is burgeoning market interest in ZNE, and policies and programs can foster and grow that interest through leadership, direct support, and the reduction of risks and...

zEPI

Code & Policy / December 22, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) includes many progressive measures that will improve the energy performance of buildings. One important provision describes the Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), which provides a scale for measuring commercial building energy performance. zEPI...

Tools & Guides

Zero Net Energy Communications Toolkit

Online Tool / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

These toolkit items were developed by New Buildings Institute and Resource Media with the generous support of foundation funding to advance zero energy building goals in California. These resources represent the foundational pieces of the ZNE Communications Toolkit; however additional…

Getting to Zero Database

Online Tool / December 19, 2015 / Outcome-Based Performance, Zero Net Energy

NBI works to identify, research, analyze and promote commercial buildings that are leaders in low- and –zero energy performance outcomes. Here you will find in-depth information about high performance buildings across the United States, Canada, and beyond. The database includes…

Research

2014 Getting to Zero Status Update

Report / January 14, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

The 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update: A look at the projects, policies and programs driving zero net energy performance in commercial buildings, examines the numbers, locations, types, ownership as well as policy and program drivers for zero net energy…

Zero Net Energy Building Controls: Characteristics, Energy Impacts and Lessons Learned Research Report

Report / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy / Controls

This commercial building research project was conducted by New Buildings Institute and led by the Continental Automated of Buildings Association (CABA). The objective was to characterize monitoring and control systems in Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings focused on three key…

California ZNE Watchlist, September 2015

Document / September 24, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

This resource tracks zero energy and ultra-low energy commercial buildings in California, including multi-family. Information was gathered by NBI from multiple sources that include: designers, owners, utility programs, private and public organizations, articles, e-news, research and commercial real estate professionals.…

EventsView All

Strategies for Getting to Zero

Webinar / March 16 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am / Zero Net Energy

Building design teams often start with two key parts to get to zero: passive design strategies and the availability for the production of site renewables energy (often called the solar budget). These speakers will use projects to demonstrate how they…

NewsView All

New CABA report highlights crucial role of controls for achieving and maintaining zero net energy buildings

News / November 18, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

November 18, 2015—Monitoring and control systems are at the nexus of buildings and successful zero net energy (ZNE) performance, according to a new study released today from the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). The study, “Zero Net Energy Building Controls:...

DOE Releases Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings, Campuses, and Communities

News / September 18, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

“NIBS and USDOE have created a set of clear and concise definitions for zero energy buildings that will help to narrow the broad array of terminology currently used in the industry,” said Ralph DiNola, CEO of New Buildings Institute. After...

Blog PostsView All

An Open Letter to America’s Architects

Post / October 29, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

I love movies where life as we know it will end unless someone can stop the massive meteor, or other catastrophe, from imploding the Earth. Everybody freaks out until some unlikely hero emerges with a risky, but innovative idea to...

Do you really know how close you are to Net Zero?

Post / April 27, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

“The Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI) is a straightforward scale that fundamentally shifts how we think about and measure energy efficiency in buildings,” says Jim Edelson, NBI’s Director of Codes and Policy. Edelson traveled recently to the DOE National Energy...

Codes & Policy

zEPI

Code & Policy / December 22, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) includes many progressive measures that will improve the energy performance of buildings. One important provision describes the Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), which provides a scale for measuring commercial building energy performance. zEPI...

Zero Net Energy Policies

Code & Policy / December 22, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Policies and programs can dramatically change the landscape for Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings. There is burgeoning market interest in ZNE, and policies and programs can foster and grow that interest through leadership, direct support, and the reduction of risks and...

ResearchView All

Zero Net Energy Buildings and the Grid

Paper / April 5, 2016 / Zero Net Energy / Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

With exponential growth predicted for U.S. solar installations, substantial distributed energy supply will be available to buildings and communities across the country. When coupled with a highly efficient, intelligent building, these resources represent a tremendous asset, but also a complicated…

ZNE Action Bulletin, Winter 2016

Document / March 8, 2016 / Zero Net Energy / Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

Since education buildings are the leading type of zero net energy (ZNE) buildings nationally, we're dedicating this edition of the ZNE Action Bulletin to "getting to zero" in schools. "On average, K-12 schools spend more on energy bills than on…

California ZNE Watchlist, December 2015

Document / February 8, 2016 / Zero Net Energy

This resource tracks zero energy and ultra-low energy commercial buildings in California, including multi-family. Information was gathered by NBI from multiple sources that include: designers, owners, utility programs, private and public organizations, articles, e-news, research and commercial real estate professionals.…

Zero Net Energy Building Controls: Characteristics, Energy Impacts and Lessons Learned Research Report

Report / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy / Controls

This commercial building research project was conducted by New Buildings Institute and led by the Continental Automated of Buildings Association (CABA). The objective was to characterize monitoring and control systems in Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings focused on three key…

California ZNE Watchlist, September 2015

Document / September 24, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

This resource tracks zero energy and ultra-low energy commercial buildings in California, including multi-family. Information was gathered by NBI from multiple sources that include: designers, owners, utility programs, private and public organizations, articles, e-news, research and commercial real estate professionals.…

Washington State Energy Code Roadmap

Report / September 11, 2015 / Codes And Policy, Zero Net Energy

The purpose of this roadmap is to provide context for the policy and code performance goals for new buildings in Washington law and identify the mechanisms and cycles by which code provisions can evolve to meet these goals. These code…

California ZNE Watchlist, May 2015

Document / May 8, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

This resource tracks zero energy and ultra-low energy commercial buildings in California, including multi-family. Information was gathered by NBI from multiple sources that include: designers, owners, utility programs, private and public organizations, articles, e-news, research and commercial real estate professionals. 

2015 Getting to Zero National Forum Event Report

Report / February 25, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

In early February 2015, over 250 policymakers, designers, building owners, commercial real estate professionals and others gathered at the Getting to Zero National Forum in Washington D.C. The event showcased the growing momentum for zero energy buildings -- high efficiency…

Names + Numbers: 2015 Interim Getting to Zero Status Update

Presentation / February 25, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

At the 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum, NBI Research Director Cathy Higgins presented the numbers and names of zero energy-verified buidlings as well as emerging projects. The list represents 29 verified and another 152 emerging projects across North America.…

2015 List of Zero Energy Buildings

Document / February 2, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

New Buildings Institute conducted research to identify buildings with targets or actual outcomes of net zero energy. These results were published in ‘ZNE Status Reports’ in early 2012 and 2014. NBI continues to track and document buildings with low and...

ZNE Action Bulletin

Document / July 25, 2014 / Zero Net Energy / Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

In response to requests for more information on news and events in the zero net energy (ZNE) buildings arena, New Buildings Institute (NBI), in partnership with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), developed this ZNE Action Bulletin to keep you…

Net Zero and Living Building Challenge Financial Study: A Cost Comparison Report for Buildings

Report / April 16, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

This study investigates the anticipated cost differential between a set of three reference buildings designed to the LEED Platinum standard and those same three buildings conceptually designed for deep energy efficiency, net zero energy, net zero water and adherence to…

Getting to Zero: Policies and Programs Presentation Slides

Presentation / February 28, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Zero net energy (ZNE) projects, policies and programs are emerging across North America. Several states and local agencies have integrated a zero net energy goal into their long-term energy policy and program strategies. This slide deck presents opportunities and lessons…

2014 Getting to Zero Status Update

Report / January 14, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

The 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update: A look at the projects, policies and programs driving zero net energy performance in commercial buildings, examines the numbers, locations, types, ownership as well as policy and program drivers for zero net energy…

Getting to Zero 2012 Status Update: A First Look at the Costs and Features of Zero Energy Commercial Buildings

Report / March 5, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

This report examines the number, location, costs and design strategies of various types of zero energy commercial buildings (ZEBs) as well as zero energy-capable (ZEC) buildings, which are energy efficient enough to be zero energy, but have not taken the…

Events

Beyond a Building

Webinar / June 22 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am / Zero Net Energy

With almost 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S., the path to zero energy must include approaches that scale across common ownership, physical areas and prototypes. This session addresses how, where and why portfolios, districts, and developments are joining together…

Getting to Zero National Forum

Event / October 12 - October 14 / Zero Net Energy

Join leading designers, owners, operators, commercial real estate professionals, policymakers, manufacturers and others to share perspectives on the growth of zero net energy (ZNE), discuss the policies driving new projects, engage in best practices for successful outcomes and collaborate on…

NewsView All

Buildings Can Be Much Greener

News / April 12, 2016 / Zero Net Energy

“Buildings Can Be Much Greener”, a recent article discussing the potential for zero net energy (ZNE) buildings, starts on p. 6 of April’s California Buildings News. Only a tiny fraction of California buildings produce all the energy they need to...

New CABA report highlights crucial role of controls for achieving and maintaining zero net energy buildings

News / November 18, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

November 18, 2015—Monitoring and control systems are at the nexus of buildings and successful zero net energy (ZNE) performance, according to a new study released today from the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). The study, “Zero Net Energy Building Controls:...

DOE Releases Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings, Campuses, and Communities

News / September 18, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

“NIBS and USDOE have created a set of clear and concise definitions for zero energy buildings that will help to narrow the broad array of terminology currently used in the industry,” said Ralph DiNola, CEO of New Buildings Institute. After...

Homes Make as Much Energy as They Use

News / September 1, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Will zero-net-energy homes be the wave of the future? Scientific American published this article about ZNE homes and buildings. Across the United States, but especially in California, ZNE residential and commercial buildings are growing in number. The article references NBI...

The home that pays its own utility bill (and then some)

News / July 17, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

A movement to develop homes that produce more energy than they use is beginning to gain ground. This article from Christian Science Monitor quotes NBI’s Communications Director. (7/16/2015)

Net-Zero Cities Aren’t Possible, You Say? Some Are Underway Today

News / July 16, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

From an environmental perspective, cities are already responsible for the majority of the planet’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To meaningfully battle climate change and stay within our carbon budget, getting things right at the urban scale is critical....

Getting to Zero: What’s in Store for Ultra-Efficient Buildings

News / June 2, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

It’s rare to be able to look 20 years down the road and see what’s coming next. Current trends in zero-energy buildings offer one of those opportunities, and with a potentially large payoff. This article was written by Ralph DiNola,...

California “ZNE Watchlist” released, the first state tracking list for zero energy buildings

News / May 12, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

May 14, 2015—A new resource for tracking progress toward zero net energy (ZNE) buildings in California is now available from New Buildings Institute (NBI). ZNE buildings are extremely energy efficient, through clean, renewable resources to generate as much energy each...

3 Chicago Buildings That Use No Energy Whatsoever

News / May 11, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Bisnow reported that New Buildings Institute recently came out with its latest list of Verified Zero Energy Buildings, and Chicago had a favorable showing, contributing three to the ranks. (5/7/2015)

Can the Bullitt Center prove that it pays for buildings to go ‘deep green’?

News / April 27, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

A Seattle office building that generates its own electricity, collects its own water and composts all human waste from its restrooms has been designated an ultra-sustainable ‘living building’. Ralph DiNola, CEO of NBI, was quoted in an article published in...

Construction Corner: The push for net-zero by 2050

News / March 5, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

McDonald’s Corp. is examining the technical and financial feasibility of building net-zero energy restaurants. Rocky Mountain Industry along with Fisher-Nickel Inc., a kitchen-equipment technology consultant, and NBI completed a study. The study modeled energy use for new, stand-alone restaurants in...

Nothing Beats Zero, Trends in Zero-Energy Commercial Buildings

News / February 25, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Zero energy buildings are captivating the minds of leading building owners, designers and government professionals who are guiding the way to a lower carbon future. Zero net energy buildings have moved from an abstract concept to a more widely adopted...

Majority of 2015 ZNE Verified Buildings are LEED Projects

News / February 17, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

NBI released their second annual list of buildings in the U.S. and Canada with verified zero net energy use (ZNE). The Green Building Information Gateway reported that the list is growing and of the 39 verified energy-neutral-verified buildings, 20 of...

Getting to Zero National Forum kicks off with Architecture 2030’s Ed Mazria sharing vision for zero energy buildings

News / February 5, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum officially opened in Washington, D.C with keynote speaker Ed Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, calling for building and energy industry professionals to make zero energy buildings a broad-scale reality in the...

McDonald’s Study Explores Idea of a Net Zero Energy Quick Service Restaurant

News / February 3, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

A study prepared by Rocky Mountain Institute, Fisher Nickel, Inc. and New Buildings Institute examines the technical and financial feasibility of achieving new net zero energy restaurants in three cities: Chicago, Orlando, and Washington, DC. RealEstateRama reported that through a...

McDonald’s Study Explores Idea of a Net Zero Energy Quick Service Restaurant

News / January 30, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

January 30, 2015–A study prepared by Rocky Mountain Institute, Fisher Nickel, Inc. and New Buildings Institute examines the technical and financial feasibility of achieving new net zero energy restaurants in three cities: Chicago, Orlando and Washington, D.C. Through a recently...

Absolute Zero: U.S. is Closer to Building Zero-Net Energy Communities

News / November 12, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

From high-rises to subdivisions, the U.S. is getting closer to building sustainable and resilient zero-net energy communities. Doing more with less — it’s an axiom the public sector has heard for years. Usually such a call to action is based...

Energy efficiency and solar: Beer and wine or gin & tonic?

News / October 28, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Traditionally, energy efficiency and solar have been thought of like beer and wine – two great options that belong in separate glasses. More recently, however, they have become like gin and tonic – two great options that are best together....

Approaching Zero

News / October 21, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Design teams reach the once-elusive goal of creating buildings that produce as much energy as they consume, reports Architectural Record. A building that produces all the energy it requires, without sacrifices to its operations or concessions of human comfort, might...

Northeast gears up to fuel hot trend in buildings: net zero energy

News / October 14, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Regional efficiency programs build on momentum, bring technical resources October 9, 2014— The built environment in the United States is poised for a transformation that experts believe will result in high performance, resilient spaces that save owners money on energy...

Getting to Zero: The New Wave of Building Efficiency

News / October 13, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Cathy Higgins, Research Director was interviewed for Green Technology Magazine. The article discusses the evolution of ZNE buildings and prospects for schools. (10/13/2014)

Zero Net Energy the newest trend in High Performance Buildings

News / September 5, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

New England Real Estate Journal reported that ZNE seems to be trending throughout Massachusetts and across North America. ZNE buildings currently contribute to a small fraction of all green buildings, but if you have sat through a presentation or read...

Net Zero Roundtable

News / July 10, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

The push for net zero energy buildings has increased in recent years, with New Buildings Institute reporting that the number of verified net zero energy buildings or those targeting net zero energy has more than doubled in just two years,...

How deep is the net-zero water hole?

News / May 14, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

The net-zero energy concept has been slowly gaining traction in the North American construction industry. Another concept that goes hand-in-hand with net-zero energy is net-zero water. The Daily Commercial News reported that a recent study was done in Washington, D.C....

Study examines present-day policies and fiscal realities of zero energy, Living Buildings in Washington, DC

News / April 29, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

April 30 , 2014-–The District of Columbia Department of the Environment today released the findings of a recent study detailing how the District, already home to more green buildings per capita than other large cities, can best craft policy and...

Zero-Energy Revolution Will Happen

News / March 11, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Ralph DiNola, Executive Director, spoke at MIPIM, the leading international real estate event for property professionals. His presentations were “Getting to zero today: how zero net energy buildings will define the next decade of development” and “Retrofit strategy and smart...

2014 Getting to Zero Status Update

News / February 27, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Several recent newsletter articles have referenced NBI’s “2014 Getting to Zero Status Update“, in addition to the radio story, OR Middle School Makes the Grade for “Zero Net Energy”. Toward net zero energy: Perspectives on the state of the market,...

Net Energy Buildings: The Future is Now

News / January 14, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

New study shows ultra-efficient, clean energy-powered buildings are gaining ground across the United States and Canada Growth in numbers, locations, types and sizes all mark progress on the state of commercial zero net energy (ZNE) buildings-–ultra-efficient buildings that generate as...

Building The Capacity To Increase Net Zero Construction

News / June 6, 2013 / Zero Net Energy

Forbes magazine features zero net energy buildings with an article highlighting the newly opened Zero Net Energy Center in California. The article cites NBI’s Getting to Zero list of 21 verified ZNE buildings. The center will serve as a net...

Kilroy Wants San Francisco’s First Net-Zero Office Building

News / June 4, 2013 / Zero Net Energy

Kilroy Realty Corp. is seeking to create San Francisco’s first office building capable of operating on a net-zero-energy basis. The Registry talked with Stacey Hobart, Communications Director at NBI, about what it means to be a net zero building. (6/4/2013)

How Low Can You Go?

News / September 5, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

Today’s Facility Manager featured NBI’s Getting to Zero 2012 Status Update in their article “How Low Can You Go?”. Communications Director, Stacey Hobart explains how the use of building technologies can help achieve a zero net energy goal. (7/1/2012)

Zero Energy Buildings are on the rise across the U.S.

News / March 22, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

As reported by several publications, zero energy commercial buildings—highly efficient buildings that produce as much energy as they use—are cropping up across the United States from California to New York state. Net Zero Energy Building Market to See Rapid Growth...

Zero Energy Buildings on the Rise Across the U.S. New Report Finds Projects Expanding in Number, Geography and Building Type

News / March 6, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

March 6, 2012–A new report released today by the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and the Zero Energy Commercial Building Consortium (CBC) reveals that zero energy commercial buildings—highly efficient buildings that produce as much energy as they use through on-site renewable...

Blog

Zero Net Energy Buildings and the Grid

Post / February 22, 2016 / Zero Net Energy / Metering, Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

As zero net energy (ZNE) and other low-energy buildings become increasingly common, we have to think about how different ZNE strategies can interact with their local electricity grids. The electricity grid was built as a one-way street, with energy flowing...

An Open Letter to America’s Architects

Post / October 29, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

I love movies where life as we know it will end unless someone can stop the massive meteor, or other catastrophe, from imploding the Earth. Everybody freaks out until some unlikely hero emerges with a risky, but innovative idea to...

Do you really know how close you are to Net Zero?

Post / April 27, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

“The Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI) is a straightforward scale that fundamentally shifts how we think about and measure energy efficiency in buildings,” says Jim Edelson, NBI’s Director of Codes and Policy. Edelson traveled recently to the DOE National Energy...

Five Reasons Why Zero Energy Buildings are the Real Deal

Post / March 31, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

When New Buildings Institute published the first-ever list of verified zero energy buildings in 2012, an abstract concept turned real. These were documented examples of high-efficiency buildings coupled with onsite renewables that could produce enough energy to power themselves over...

McDonald’s Study Explores Idea of a Net Zero Energy Quick Service Restaurant

Post / March 16, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

A recently released study looks at the technical and financial feasibility of achieving new net zero energy restaurants in three cities including Chicago, Illinois, Orlando, Florida, and Washington, D.C. The study, commissioned by McDonald’s Corporation, was conducted by Rocky Mountain...

The 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum – What a Smashing Success

Post / February 23, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Earlier this month, NBI, along with its partners the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), gathered over 250 of North America’s leading policymakers, design professionals, building owners and commercial real estate professionals at the...

Teaming with Technology

Post / January 26, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

It’s mid-January and I’m sitting in the most sustainable building in the world – the Bullitt Center in Seattle. It’s a grey cool day outside (it is Seattle after all), but inside the atmosphere is bright, with no electric lights...

U.S. DOE Looks for Agreement on Zero Energy Building Standards

Post / January 21, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Futurists look for signs that tell them what’s to come. In case you missed it, there was an arm-waving sign earlier this week when the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a public notice asking for input on a variety...

Top Ten Priorities for Getting to 2030

Post / January 6, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

A New Year’s Reality Check, 15 Years In… Where does the time go? Just last week we celebrated the arrival of 2015, in all of its New Year’s freshness and possibility. And while I’m happy to greet the new year...

Early adopters receive training on ZNE Buildings

Post / December 22, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

New Buildings Institute, CPUC and utilities collaborated to host two southern California training on zero net energy trends, policy and funding opportunities, case studies, and tools for communicating and planning zero energy buildings. Materials from the workshop are linked below....

New buildings database offers important lessons on achieving low-energy buildings

Post / December 9, 2014 / Deep Energy Retrofits, Zero Net Energy

There is no better teacher than experience and now NBI has over 280 experiences to share through its new Getting to Zero Buildings Database. The database officially released today offers a dynamic way to find in-depth case studies about high...

Policies Promoting Net Zero Energy Should Focus On Efficiency First

Post / May 6, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

NBI and its partners, International Living Future Institute and Skanska, recently completed research on the costs associated with Zero Energy and Living Buildings™ for the District of Columbia Department of the Environment. The District has been a leader in high...

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Leads on High Efficiency, ZNE Buildings

Post / May 2, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

On April 29, 2014, Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee signed an Executive Order announcing a broad new effort for the State of Washington to address the challenges of climate change. The order contained some important language around zero net energy buildings...

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

Post / February 25, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

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...

ZNE – The Story Continues…

Post / February 14, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

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...

A Positive Trend is Unfolding in the Building Industry

Post / November 6, 2013 / Zero Net Energy

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...

Case StudiesView All

Turkey Foot Middle School

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The Kenton County School District believes “schools should use less energy, demonstrate sound environmental practices and serve as a fundamental tool for learning.” Since the District had experience with a formal energy management program that saved over $2 million since…

The Ramona

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The Ramona is a mixed-use development in the urban Pearl District of Portland, Oregon. The building hosts 138 units of affordable housing and two educational facilities. Portland Public Schools rents 13,000 SF for programs for children ages 3 to 6.…

TD Bank

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

TD Bank has been an environmental leader since 1990. As one of the ten largest banks in the United States, they chose to move beyond LEED certification to pilot a Zero Net Energy design for a retail bank branch in…

Dr. David Suzuki Public School

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The Dr. David Suzuki Public School combines readily available and demonstration technologies to create a school building that serves as a living laboratory for 550 students in Windsor, Ontario. The two-story kindergarten through 8th grade school includes classrooms, a gymnasium,…

Rice Fergus Miller Office and Studio

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

Rice Fergus Miller breathed new life into an abandoned 1948 Sears Automotive Center and positioned their new office solidly on the path to net zero. This urban infill transformation project took a dilapidated structure that had been abandoned for 23…

Putney Field House

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The Putney Field House is located on a 461-acre parcel, with areas dedicated to forestry, education and agriculture. The site includes indigenous plantings and a production garden. The state-of-the art field house and wellness center was built to provide winter…

Leon County Cooperative Extension Office Building

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The mission of the Leon County Cooperative Extension is to educate the community about research performed at the University of Florida through interactive opportunities and demonstration sites. A recent retrofit of their 13,000 SF office was the perfect opportunity to…

Anna Maria Historic Green Village

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The Anna Maria Historic Green Village is an unusual combination of historic restoration and modern technology. Owners Mike and Lizzie Thrasher have worked diligently to preserve four 100-year old buildings and merge history with state-of-the-art green technology, all while bringing…

Exploratorium

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

When the Exploratorium outgrew its old location at the Palace of Fine Arts, the City of San Francisco offered to provide Piers 15 and 17 on its historic waterfront as a larger relocation option for the science museum. After structurally…

Bacon Street Offices

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The Bacon Street Office project is a 4,500 SF retrofit of a single-story, 1950’s-era auto repair shop into a high performance office for the firm ARCHITECTS hannah gabriel wells. Through creative design strategies, renewable energy generation and with support from…

Zero Net Energy Training Center

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

When it came time to upgrade their training facility, the IBEW Local 595 and NECA chapters targeted net zero energy. They wanted to demonstrate that this goal was achievable and train their electrical contractors on the latest, cutting-edge energy efficiency…

David and Lucille Packard Foundation Case Study

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

When the Packard Foundation started thinking about building a new headquarters, they wanted to make sure the final product reflected the organization’s values. These include conserving the Earth’s natural resources over the long-term, providing a comfortable and healthy space that…

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) headquarters Case Study

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy / Existing Buildings

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) headquarters is an ultralow-energy, Class A office building that pushes the norm in sustainable design. Located in downtown San Francisco, the 13-story building houses more than 900 employees who were previously located in…

La Valentine North Townhomes Case Study

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy / Existing Buildings

The La Valentine North Townhome project is the result of a partnership between SMUD and the owner/developer of the project, Domus Development LLC. The 18-unit affordable multifamily development is a research and demonstration project in SMUD’s Townhouse Home of the…

Redding School for the Arts Case Study

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy / Existing Buildings

Redding School for the Arts in Northern California connects education and arts for K-8 students in a community of 90,000 people. The school was originally created in August 1999 in response to the rapid decline of arts programs in local…

DPR Construction

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy / Existing Buildings

Acting as owner, designer and contractor, DPR rehabbed a near-obsolete, 1984 building into a vibrant, zero-net energy multi-tenant office. DPR’s new 24,000 SF tenant improvement includes an open office space along with 11 conference rooms, a large gathering area and…

A Zero Energy Building: IDeAs Z2 Design Facility

Case Study / April 26, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

IDeAs’ new headquarters in San Jose, CA was designed to meet 100% of its net energy requirements using renewable energy from photovoltaics.

A Zero Energy Building: Omega Center for Sustainable Living

Case Study / April 25, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

Achieving net-zero energy required a design that eliminated waste and maximized the use of renewable energy resources. This building in Rhinebeck, NY is purposely compact, organized to harvest daylight, solar energy, and cooling breezes to reduce energy needs

A Zero Energy-Capable Building: Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies

Case Study / April 25, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

For this two-story building in Cupertino, CA the design process moved through six steps to responsibly approach carbon neutral operation and roughly track increasing cost effectiveness.

A Zero Energy-Capable Building: Gilman Ordway Building at the Woods Hole Research Center

Case Study / April 25, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

In Falmouth, MA a 19th-century summer home is respectfully adapted with the addition of a contemporary office, laboratory, and common spaces. The integration of passive-solar and energy-conservation strategies, optimal performance, and onsite renewable power generation make this building 83% more…

A Zero Energy-Capable Building: Plano Elementary School

Case Study / April 25, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

Plano Elementary School serves 435 students in Warren County, Kentucky. The building includes 32 classrooms, 14 offices, six resource centers, media center, gym, server room, and cafeteria with kitchen. There are 20 public schools in this district and five of…

A Zero Energy Building: Leslie Shao-Ming Sun Field Station at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

Case Study / April 25, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

One of the explicit energy goals for this building was to achieve net-zero carbon emissions on a recurring annual basis. The most significant strategies employed to maximize energy conservation focused on the building’s cooling, heating, and lighting systems. Due to…

A Zero Energy-Capable Building: Doyle Conservation Center

Case Study / April 25, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

This training facility showcases the organization’s conservation activities. The LEED Gold rating reflects the mission of the Trustees of Reservations, which is “To preserve for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.”

Tools & Guides

External ZNE Resource List

Online Tool / December 22, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

In addition to our Status Update research report, ZNE communications toolkit and case studies, NBI has collected a set of external resources related to zero net energy. Examples of programs, policy documents or other research supporting zero energy-capable construction are…

Graphics for 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update

Online Tool / December 22, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The following graphics represent NBI's findings from the 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update. They are available for use. Please cite NBI and share a copy of the placement with us by emailing Connie Umphress, NBI at connie@newbuildings.org.

Map of 2014 ZNE Verified Buildings

Online Tool / December 22, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

The 2014 list of ZNE verified buildings includes 32 buildings and one district, for a total of 33 projects. These projects are located in 36 states covering all climate zones and include a variety of building types. The map below…

The Case For Better Energy Codes

Factsheet / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy / Energy Codes

In late October, building code offi cials from across the country will gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a final action hearing to review and vote on revisions to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). New Buildings Institute (NBI), American…

COMNET Overview

Factsheet / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

COMNET is a quality assurance initiative to standardize building energy modeling, by creating consistent baselines relative to various energy codes and standards. COMNET extends and supports existing systems for assessing and rating the energy efficiency of new commercial and multifamily…

Getting to Zero Database

Online Tool / December 19, 2015 / Outcome-Based Performance, Zero Net Energy

NBI works to identify, research, analyze and promote commercial buildings that are leaders in low- and –zero energy performance outcomes. Here you will find in-depth information about high performance buildings across the United States, Canada, and beyond. The database includes…

Zero Net Energy Communications Toolkit

Online Tool / December 19, 2015 / Zero Net Energy

These toolkit items were developed by New Buildings Institute and Resource Media with the generous support of foundation funding to advance zero energy building goals in California. These resources represent the foundational pieces of the ZNE Communications Toolkit; however additional…

Zero Net Energy Technology Application Guide: Radiant Heating And Cooling + Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems

Guideline / November 4, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Zero Net Energy (ZNE) is the future, and in a growing number of places the present, of building design and energy policy. A growing strategy to get to ZNE is to separate the building’s heating/cooling from the ventilation/dehumidification. Design firms…

Zero Net Energy Technology Application Guide: Luminaire Level Lighting Control

Guideline / November 4, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

Improved lighting efficiency has long been a major strategy to reduce the energy use in buildings. These savings have traditionally come from improved efficiency of lamps and ballasts. Today, deep energy reductions and Zero Net Energy (ZNE) are possible by…

Zero Net Energy Technology Application Guide: Indirect Evaporative Cooling

Guideline / November 3, 2014 / Zero Net Energy

With Zero Net Energy (ZNE) a growing building design and energy policy trend, design firms and owners are striving to meet heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) loads with optimum comfort and minimal energy. Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) offers a…

Zero Net Energy Resources

Factsheet / April 6, 2012 / Zero Net Energy

In addition to our Status Update research report, ZNE communications toolkit and case studies, NBI has collected a set of external resources related to zero net energy. Examples of programs, policy documents or other research supporting zero energy-capable construction are…

Join our upcoming webinar: Strategies for Getting to Zero

Building design teams often start with two key parts to get to zero: passive design strategies and the availability for the production of site renewables energy (often called the solar budget). Speakers will use projects to demonstrate how they drill down into the energy targets, modeling, envelope and daylighting to reduce loads and assess and integrate the available renewables.

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