NBI database features buildings that are at least 30% more energy efficient
October 19, 2009--Commercial building professionals have a new tool they can use to help them create high performance buildings. New Buildings Institute has teamed with the U.S. Department of Energy, and Building Green to create a searchable database that provides users with examples of buildings that perform at least 30% better than the CBECS (Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey) average for their type. The online database is available at http://buildings.newbuildings.org/.
In keeping with NBI's position that measured performance of buildings and energy use feedback are a critical part of the design process, this database includes detailed search features enabling users to select buildings where actual energy use data is available and specific energy saving design strategies are clearly outlined. It was initially developed in 2007 as part of NBI's Getting to Fifty initiative, investigating the feasibility of creating buildings that use 50% less energy than the CBECS average. The Getting to Fifty research found that while this level of efficiency is technically possible, only 1 in 1,000 buildings in the United States met the criterion (at the time of the study). The database has been recently updated and expanded.
"By providing practitioners with real world examples of innovative, low-energy buildings, we hope to encourage design goals that seek energy performance of at least 50% better than model energy standards," said NBI Executive Director Dave Hewitt.
One building featured in the database describes technologies installed at the University of Texas School of Nursing and Student Center to reduce heating and cooling loads. An underfloor air distribution system increased energy efficiency and thermal comfort in the building while reducing energy use by an estimated 41% (over a minimally code compliant building).
About New Buildings Institute
NBI is a non-profit organization working to improve the energy performance of commercial buildings (www.newbuildings.org)