New Buildings Institute Blog

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

Regulatory Rewards

Jim Edelson's picture

Small government. Big government. Over-regulation. Race to the bottom.

We frequently see these black-and-white characterizations of government regulation. Not just characterizations, but caricatures in some cases. We say, “Stifling!” “Handcuffs on business!” Read more »

NBI milestone gives cause for reflection

Susan Harris's picture

NBI has released its FY2012 Annual Report. Here is the opening letter from Executive Director Dave Hewitt and Board President David Goldstein. Read more »

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New: Energy Efficiency Outlook for 2013

2012 was a good year for energy efficiency, and 2013 portends to be even better.

In 2012, states, municipalities, and federal agencies largely completed their energy efficiency programs using funds from the 2009 federal stimulus. Notable milestones included weatherizing more than 1 million low-income homes and apartments and establishing energy efficiency loan programs in more than 30 states. Read more »

No Better Time to Talk Energy Codes

Stacey Hobart's picture

The remarkable events of the last few weeks, from a heated presidential election to “Superstorm” Sandy that left unanticipated destruction in its wake, brought with them new questions and much needed debate about our nation's energy challenges. Last week saw an end to a campaign that, for many, continuously sidestepped discussions about energy independence, efficiency and conservation on the heels of a storm that swept those very issues back onto the tongues of politicians and policy-makers alike. Not to mention green building and energy sector players. Read more »