Zero Energy/Carbon Codes

Codes And Policy / Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

Building energy codes are playing an increasing in facilitating the move to ZE buildings. As advances in construction practices and building components and systems are proven out, communities are  strengthening the building codes so that higher levels of building efficiency become standard practice. An increasing number of cities, counties, and states around the US are committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions – Some leading jurisdictions have begun to incorporate  both zero energy and zero carbon goals for in new construction Codes.  NBI recognizes three pathways available to get to the zero levels:

Zero Energy Construction Code.  This is an energy code strategy where projects are required to demonstrate that submitted building plans   are designed to achieve a zero energy outcome

Zero Energy Outcome Policy.  This is a building energy policy requiring buildings to demonstrate net zero energy use based on measured building performance outcome.

Zero Carbon Code or Policy.  When considering carbon as the metric, there potentially are two independent facets of the policy:

  1. Elimination of building-level combustion
  2. Move from energy cost/site/source metrics to GHG emission metrics

NBI has created a curated list of leading energy goals, policies, and energy stretch codes from states and local jurisdictions, as well as programs that support jurisdictions. Please visiting our Zero Energy Resources HUB for examples of leading jurisdiction codes and energy stretch codes. In addition, four leading examples of zero or near-zero code language is linked below:

California Title 24-2019 (Residential): News release, Code language, Presentation

California ZERO Code (Commercial- proposed)About Zero CodeCode language, Technical support document

2021 IECC ZE Appendix (Residential – proposed)Factsheet