In the News

Tool to Assess Value of Building Retrofits

BUILDINGS.com reported that a new web application can identify energy savings opportunities. The Retrofit Savings Estimator, created by NBI, uses general factors such as size, heating and cooling types, and building operation schedules as well as more technical details to create custom simulations and identify the relative value of potential changes. (6/25/2015) Read more

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

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. This article from Line/Shape/Space reports about the needs, actions and future of our buildings and urban areas. It references NBI's report, "2014 Getting to Zero Status Update". NBI tracked a growing pack of projects—with the majority of square footage in the education sector—reaching for net-zero energy. (7/15/2015) Read article

New Construction Guide endorsed by Architecture 2030 to meet the 2030 Challenge

The New Construction Guide has also been incorporated as the prescriptive path to comply with the energy prerequisites for both USGBC’s LEED v4 and the Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools standard. The guide has also been adopted as the basis for the prescriptive path for complying with the energy code in the city of Boulder, Colorado, currently the most stringent in the country.This news was reported by "Rethink Energy and Design". (6/3/2015) Read more

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

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, CEO, in Construction Executive. (6/1/2015) Read article

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 »

Nothing Beats Zero, Trends in Zero-Energy Commercial Buildings

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 objective, practice and policy direction. In 2014, NBI completed an update to its original 2012 study. This article was written by Cathy Higgins and published by the Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences. The 2014 Update documents more than twice as many buildings than the 2012 study. (2/17/2015) 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

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