What's New

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

Where We’ll Be in March:

Jim Edelson, Director of Codes and Policy, will participate at the U.S. Department Of Energy National Energy Codes Conference 2015 on March 24. He will present Utilizing Energy Targets in zEPI and Outcome-Based Codes as part of the Future of Codes panel. Learn more

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

ZNE Action Bulletin Issue 16

The latest ZNE Bulletin is now available. Find news about zero net energy buildings, research, policy, workshops as well as other ZNE information. Read bulletin

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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