What's New

Where You’ll Find Us on Earth Day

On April 22 at the National Symposium on Market Transformation in Washington, DC. Cathy Higgins will moderate the working session ZNE from Coast to Coast. Jim Edelson, Director of Codes and Policy, will be speaking in the session The Role of Energy Codes in Getting to Zero Net Energy Buildings. The new report, “Getting to Outcome-Based Building Performance - Report from the Seattle Summit on Performance Outcomes”, created by NBI and the National Institute of Building Science will be announced. The report will also be available here soon.  Learn more

At the IFMA (International Facility Management Association) Oregon/SW Washington Annual Symposium in Portland, Oregon. Ralph DiNola, CEO, will present NBI's Getting to Zero Status Update, and Alexi Miller, Senior Project Manager, will present Virtual Energy Auditing: Cost-effective Strategies for Evaluating and Prioritizing Efficiency in your Portfolio. Learn more

Also in Portland, at the Efficiency Exchange Conference. Mark Frankel, Technical Director, will present Determining if a Building is Ripe for Retrofit or Recommissioning. Learn more

More April Presentations

Cathy Higgins, Research Director, and Mark Frankel, Technical Director, were be among the presenters at the Buildings of the Future: Seeing Beyond this Century Workshop on April 2 in Seattle. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, joined with NBI, ZGF Architects, and EcoDistricts for this workshop, part of a national initiative to develop a vision for buildings in 100 years.

On April 29 Cathy Higgins will attend the ETCC (Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council) Quarterly Meeting, Charting the Course to Integrated Solutions. She will serve as moderator for the session Drivers for Integrated Solutions. Speakers on the panel will discuss the underlying philosophy and policy, financial and technological drivers for energy system integration and the current approaches to achieving integrated solutions. Learn more

Understanding Delivery, Partnership Strategies and Program Channels

NBI recently conducted research on behalf of NEEA’s Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Initiative. The research team sought to better understand the delivery, partnership strategies and program channels for promoting the adoption of energy efficiency best practices in commercial real estate. Key recommendations in the resulting report include providing clear and consistent messages around a limited set of best practices; setting a progressive path of action that defines best practices; promoting the adoption of corporate sustainability policies; leveraging ENERGY STAR brand recognition; creating peer networks focused on energy efficiency; creating market clarity on available education and training; assisting internal champions in promoting energy efficiency best practices through case studies, specific tools and resources; and leveraging existing CRE partnerships. Read report

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 the New Buildings Institute 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, the New Buildings Institute 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. (2/20/2015) Read article

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

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

Webinar: Staying ahead of advancing energy codes with the Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide

With the release of the Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide, NBI has laid out a prescriptive path for commercial buildings to stay ahead of advancing code baselines. Learn more with a 90-minute webinar. Watch on-demand

Zero Net Energy Technology Application Guides

Three new Zero Net Energy Technology Application Guides, developed for California but widely transferable, provide information on readily available leading-edge technologies found in today’s ZNE buildings. The guides describe the technology, its features and benefits, and illustrate energy performance from both modeled and measured results. There are project application examples, overviews on costs and trends and a list of related resources. These featured technologies were selected through a group of architect and engineering advisors experienced in ultra-low and zero energy design.

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