In the News

Experts Examine Future of Energy Performance

Several recent news articles have referenced the Getting to Outcome-Based Performance report published by the National Institute of Building Sciences and NBI. The report examines opportunities, barriers, and next steps associated with the commercial building industry’s transition from design-phase estimates of energy use based on models to measurements of performance outcomes based on actual energy use. Read more »

3 Chicago Buildings That Use No Energy Whatsoever

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) Read article

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

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 The Guardian. Between 2012 and 2015, the number of verified zero net energy commercial buildings nearly doubled; the number of buildings deemed capable of eventually reaching that goal nearly quadrupled during that same time period. Mounting evidence also suggests that well-executed deep-green designs can minimize or even eliminate additional upfront costs, potentially neutralizing financial concerns. (4/23/2015) Read article

Construction Corner: The push for net-zero by 2050

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 several cities and found that improving energy performance could achieve energy savings of 60 per cent. They could get down to net-zero energy with photo voltaic arrays installed over roofs and parking lots. When you run a fast-food restaurant, you quickly learn that the real energy hogs are the air conditioning and kitchen equipment. Those items are usually looked at in isolation, but, NBI says there must be a new approach to design, a whole-building approach in which everything is considered as part of the greater whole. Reported Korky Koroluk in the Construction Corner. Read more »

Majority of 2015 ZNE Verified Buildings are LEED Projects

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 them have certified to LEED’s top levels of green building achievement. (2/9/2015) Read article

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

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 next few decades, reported RealEstateRama. “Worldwide, between now and 2030, there will be growth of 900 billion square feet in new and renovated building construction. That represents 60% of today’s built environment or equivalent to building New York City every 35 days,” explained Mazria during his address underscoring why immediate action is urgently needed. (2/3/2015) Read article

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

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 recently completed study, McDonald’s Corporation seeks to better understand the feasiblity of developing a net zero energy quick service restaurant. The study’s findings, including research, technical analyses, and detailed recommendations, form a roadmap for McDonald’s to pursue future net zero energy restaurants, as well as select energy efficiency solutions for existing restaurants. (1/30/2015) Read more

Colorado buildings rank high in new energy-use database

The Denver Business Journal reported that Colorado is third among states with the most buildings that are either "net zero" in terms of energy use or are exceptionally energy efficient. This is according to a new database compiled by NBI that tracks commercial energy use. The Getting to Zero Database launched last week and features more than 280 buildings from across the country. (12/19/2014) Read article

IgCC Opens Compliance Pathway Based on Actual Energy Use

An outcome-based approach assures that buildings actually achieve energy targets, while relieving technical pressures on code departments, reported Environmental Business News. The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will have a compliance option based on an outcome-based approach, officials announced recently. Jim Edelson, director of codes and policy, is quoted in the article, “The adoption of the outcome-based pathway presents a sea change in the way building codes can be met. Cities can now effectively drive better policies in their building sector, design teams gain flexibility to innovate, and building code officials have a streamlined process for validating that a building is operating to code.”(1/4/2015) Read article

Getting to Zero Buildings Database Launches

If you've been wondering where the greenest buildings are - including net-zero energy - take a look at New Building Institute's Getting to Zero Buildings Database, reported SustainableBusiness.com. So far, the database includes 280 buildings in the US and Canada (and select projects elsewhere), in all climate zones and sizes, mostly office buildings (134) and schools (69), but also other types like wineries, nursing homes and courthouses. 37 are net-zero, all of which have at least a year's worth of performance data. There are also some notable community solutions, such as the Greensburg, Kansas Sustainable Master Plan. (12/11/2014) Read article

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