Research

NBI has an extensive in-house database of building performance, grown from project research done for USGBC, PIER, EPA and others. Several hundred buildings are represented in this growing data source that includes information about measured fuel use, space type, occupancy, building characteristics and specific energy conservation measures.  

This data provides NBI a basis from which to develop larger scale information on best practices and technologies, types of buildings and energy performance accomplishments that can inform owners and operators as well as the efficiency industry and policymakers. The following research reports aggregate subsets of this data and identify industry trends.


PIER Research

Since 2000 NBI has been a part of major energy efficiency research on behalf of the California Energy Commission through the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. NBI’s latest PIER research program, Evidence-based Design and Operations, began in 2008 and was completed in March 2013. The goal of the program was to improve the measured energy performance of the next generation of commercial buildings and resulted in a series of related projects. Read More


Search for Deep Energy Savings: Meta Report

A report from NEEA's BetterBricks program and New Buildings Institute investigates* 11 examples of energy retrofits in existing commercial buildings that, on average, resulted in energy use 50% less than the national average – many with an energy use intensity (EUI) below 40 kBtus per square foot.  The report provides an in-depth review of building characteristics, efficiency measures, motivations, money, measured energy performance, market and tenant outcomes, and barriers and innovations. Results from an initial search which found 50 buildings with 30% or more savings are also included. 

*with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Kresge Foundation

Eleven Case Studies from: A Search for Deep Savings (1.6 MB PDF)
Meta Report: A Search for Deep Savings (1.09 MB PDF)


Study on the Performance of LEED buildings 

NBI conducted a study of the post-occupancy performance of LEED new construction buildings. Whole-building energy use/square foot was benchmarked several ways and showed that on average the LEED buildings performed better than comparable non-LEED buildings. However actual results vary widely, with a large number of buildings failing to meet objectives.

Energy Performance of LEED for New Construction Buildings

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