Technology Talk—Getting to Zero Energy in Existing Buildings

Post / February 22, 2019

Without upgrading our existing buildings to higher efficiency technologies we have zero hope of getting to zero energy (ZE)–or at least ultra-low energy performance–and our carbon reduction targets. We know that there are many roads to retrofits but rapid scaling...

Making the Path to Zero Energy Buildings Well Worn Together

Post / February 28, 2018 / Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

When does a path become a road? Is it volume of travelers, difficulty of terrain or perhaps the need to arrive more rapidly at the destination to create the attention and resources needed to smooth out the path? For zero...

NBI Completes Study into Energy Performance of Commercial Buildings with Radiant Systems for Cooling and Heating

Post / August 10, 2017

During the renovation of the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, a variable air volume (VAV) system was replaced with a radiant design system. The design team included numerous CBE industry partners, including SERA Architects, Stantec, Interface Engineering, and Charles...

Small buildings get big boost from SMART Scale small commercial retrofit program

Post / October 18, 2016

NBI has long advocated for more attention, tools and resources for energy efficiency in the small business sector. We created the only prescriptive approach approved as a LEED-NC pathway for moving small new commercial buildings to high performance – the...

The Path to Net Zero: A Shout Out to Building Operators

Post / June 21, 2016 / Controls, Operations & Maintenance, Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

Like they don’t have enough to do already, facility managers and building operators are now working to manage both sides of the electrical meter. The evolution of buildings incorporating advanced systems, highly integrated controls and distributed generation (typically photovoltaics) is...

Teaming with Technology

Post / January 26, 2015

It’s mid-January and I’m sitting in the most sustainable building in the world – the Bullitt Center in Seattle. It’s a grey cool day outside (it is Seattle after all), but inside the atmosphere is bright, with no electric lights...

Gen 2030: Working for the Next Generation

Post / April 4, 2012

In the first quarter of 2012 NBI staff welcomed three new babies – all boys.  The obvious puns followed: New Boys Institute, New Babies Inevitable. Late last year the connection of these new lives joining us in 2012 occurred to...

The 12 Themes of Retrofit

Post / December 21, 2011

In these final days of 2011, a report of our September Summit on Deep Energy Retrofits (DERs) is on my holiday list of things to wrap into a colorful package with ribbons of logic and bows that compel change. The...

A Different T – Party: Thinking About Transforming the Market to Measured Performance

Post / June 22, 2010

On a recent spring day more than 20 leading design professionals gathered in a small conference room at EHDD Architects in San Francisco. I had asked them to join this newly formed group I call “CAMP” – California Advisors on...