Press Releases

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

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 year as they use onsite. States across the nation are pursuing ZNE targets and policies as an important strategy to meet energy efficiency and climate action plan goals. The new California ZNE Watchlist, produced with support from the California Public Utilities Commission, tracks buildings that are either “ZNE Verified” or “Ultra-low Energy”. The list also includes “Emerging ZNE” buildings, those buildings built or in progress with stated goals to meet zero energy performance. Buildings that appear on the verified lists have had 12 months of energy data reviewed by NBI analysts or other verified sources to determine if the energy performance qualifies as ZNE or Ultra-low Energy. Read more »

Industry experts plan for future focused on commercial building performance outcomes, increased attention to operations

May 6, 2015--Determining a building’s energy efficiency based solely on using predictive energy models and specifying certain design and construction attributes may be a thing of the past by the time the next generation of architects and engineers join the workforce. Communities and owners want measurable performance data: they want to know whether greenhouse gas emissions are lower, whether energy consumption has been reduced and even whether the building has achieved zero-energy usage. Models remain an important tool, but the actual data after the building is operational is what truly shows whether efficiency expectations have been realized.  Read more »

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

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 completed study, McDonald’s Corporation seeks to better understand whether it would be feasible to develop a net zero energy[i] (NZE) quick service restaurant.  Exploring net zero energy continues McDonald’s tradition of energy efficiency efforts, and helps to prepare McDonald’s for future energy codes.  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.
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New buildings database showcases growing market trend of low and zero energy buildings

December 10, 2014—Detailed information on North America’s most energy-efficient and zero energy buildings is now available online with the New Building Institute’s Getting to Zero Buildings Database. The database features more than 280 buildings from all climate zones across the U.S., Canada and beyond, including a variety of building types such as schools, offices, nursing homes, wineries and courthouses. The number of zero energy-verified buildings—those that use only as much energy as can be produced on-site through renewable resources—total 37. Read more »

New 2015 IgCC can assist progressive communities to meet energy goals

November 24, 2014--Cities and states looking at energy efficient buildings to help meet energy goals are getting a boost from the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Four critical proposals that will drive significant improvements in building energy performance were approved when final voting on the model energy code closed earlier this month.  Read more »

Northeast gears up to fuel hot trend in buildings: net zero 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 expenses. Commercial projects aiming for net zero energy (NZE) performance have grown by 300% since 2012, according to research by New Buildings Institute (NBI). NZE buildings are extremely energy-efficient structures that use only as much energy as can be produced onsite through renewable resources such as photovoltaics. Read more »

New approach to energy code compliance clears hurdle

Outcome-based pathway would focus on a building's energy performance once in occupancy

May 15, 2014—Owners and design teams working toward high energy performance buildings have a potential new ally in the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). The development committee reviewing new proposals for enhancing the IgCC voted 8-5 earlier this month to approve a proposal that would add the first-ever outcome-based compliance path in a model energy code. Read more »

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

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 create incentives to build zero energy, zero water and Living Buildings™. Read more »

Net Energy Buildings: The Future is Now

January 14, 2014—Zero  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 much power from onsite renewable energy sources as they consume in a year, according to a report released today from New Buildings Institute (NBI). Of buildings surveyed across North America, the report finds the number of buildings achieving or pursuing ZNE have more than doubled since the last study was released in 2012. Read more »

New energy code includes historic gains for efficiency in existing buildings

Lighting controls and advanced HVAC also gain ground at 2015 IECC final action hearings

October 17, 2013--Hearings to finalize the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) wrapped up in Atlantic City last week with big wins for higher efficiency requirements in existing buildings, controls for lighting and daylighting hardware and HVAC equipment specifications. New Buildings Institute (NBI) and its partners put forward some two dozen proposals addressing a diverse set of building technologies and design specifications that would improve commercial building energy performance. The IECC is reviewed and updated every three years and serves as the model energy code for states and local jurisdictions across the country. Read more »

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