Four strategies for decarbonization, electrification in commercial buildings

News / May 23, 2023

Published by Consukting-Specifying Engineer: To develop actional processes and to reinforce the importance of energy efficiency, New Building Institute (NBI) published the “Existing Building Decarbonization Code.” According to NBI, the code is “… a new way for jurisdictions to reduce...

New York Invests in Energy-Saving Strategies to Meet Climate Action Goals

Post / January 4, 2019

New York has emerged as a shining star in local energy policy with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement early last year of an ambitious energy efficiency target to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs (British thermal units) by...

Leading in LA

Report / December 26, 2018 / Existing Buildings

New Buildings Institute led a major research project funded by the California Energy Commission in response to the critical need to greatly reduce energy use in California’s existing commercial buildings with cost-effective and scalable solutions. Working with prominent energy efficiency…

Cities Get Help to Prioritize Energy Upgrades, Improve Codes and Policies that Drive Better Building Performance

Post / April 21, 2017 / Benchmarking & Feedback, Existing Buildings

Buildings are responsible for almost half of all U.S. energy consumption (46%), and poor-performing buildings have an outsized impact on energy use. But without a systematic approach to track building performance, it’s often difficult to know where to start. By setting...


Online Tool / February 21, 2017 / Existing Buildings

Introducing SMARTScale... In 2014, the US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a grant to NBI partner Ecology Action to create and demonstrate a nationally scalable model targeted to utility and public benefits efficiency program operators for delivering deep retrofits in…

Introducing SmartScale: a no-cost online implementation guide & toolkit for small commercial retrofit program planners and implementers

Webinar / December 15, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST

In this webinar, Ecology Action and New Buildings Institute present SmartScale, a cost effective deep retrofit program for small and medium commercial buildings designed for replication in a wide-range of markets across the country. Market-tested with one of the largest…

Deep Energy Retrofit: Getting to Zero Net Energy Capable

Webinar / June 2, 2016 / Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

Learn how to drive 30% or greater energy savings with National Grid and NBI . National Grid has partnered with NBI on an exciting three-part Deep Energy Retrofit webinar series. This is the third and final webinar of this series.

Deep Energy Retrofit: Getting to Zero Net Energy Capable

Webinar / June 2, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 pm PDT / Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

Learn how to drive 30% or greater energy savings with National Grid and NBI . National Grid has partnered with NBI on an exciting three-part Deep Energy Retrofit webinar series.

Deep Energy Retrofit: Vision, Goals and Process

Webinar / April 7, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 pm PDT

Learn how to drive 30% or greater energy savings with National Grid and NBI . National Grid has partnered with NBI on an exciting three-part Deep Energy Retrofit webinar series.

The Retrofit Savings Estimator

News / October 6, 2015

Building owners considering an energy-efficiency upgrade now have a new tool to help them weigh their options and choose strategies that will optimize energy savings or target the biggest opportunities among a portfolio of buildings. NBI has released a beta...

Congressional Members Look at Reinventing Existing Buildings

Post / September 29, 2015

I had the honor recently of addressing members of Congress on opportunities for “reinventing” existing buildings to achieve high levels of energy efficiency and productivity. The morning briefing was hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy. Why existing buildings? (more…)

What Commercial Real Estate Executives Think and Do About Energy Efficiency

Post / September 16, 2015

The 2014 Northwest Commercial Building Stock Assessment estimates the size of the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) market in the Northwest to be 1.6 billion square feet–a market of existing buildings that are prime candidates for energy and carbon reductions through...

These Small Business Segments Make Super Customers

News / July 17, 2015

In 2013, Preservation Green Lab (PGL) and the New Buildings Institute (NBI) reported on seven small building segments with high energy savings potential: food service, main street buildings, freestanding offices, strip malls, schools, freestanding retail and lodging. This inspired Diana...

New buildings database offers important lessons on achieving low-energy buildings

Post / December 9, 2014

There is no better teacher than experience and now NBI has over 280 experiences to share through its new Getting to Zero Buildings Database. The database officially released today offers a dynamic way to find in-depth case studies about high...

Northwest cities get help from NEEA to address worst performing buildings

Post / November 20, 2014

Existing buildings with aging equipment and infrastructure represent a tremendous opportunity for energy savings. But, without a mechanism to identify inefficient buildings and prioritize budgets for upgrades, it’s difficult to know where to start. Under a pilot program, funded by...

Government Leadership Creates Powerful Action on Deep Energy Efficiency and Climate Change

Post / April 9, 2014

Vermont, California, Kentucky, Pima County, Salt Lake City, Fort Collins, Washington DC. These communities are among those leading by example in setting zero net energy (ZNE) goals for both local policies and their own government buildings. Policymakers in these jurisdictions...

Christman Building Case Study

Case Study / April 27, 2012

The Christman in Lansing, MI is one of the few Triple LEED Platinum buildings designated by the USGBC LEED Program. The building is located in a climate zone comparable to Montana, northeast Washington and eastern Idaho, and its age and…

Lovejoy Building Case Study

Case Study / April 27, 2012

In Portland, OR a retrofit of the existing load-bearing brick structure required a major seismic upgrade in this building. The architects used this as an opportunity for an integrated response to advanced structural upgrades, enhanced user thermal comfort and improved…

Johnson Braund Design Group Case Study

Case Study / April 27, 2012

Johnson Braund Design Group (JBDG) in Seattle was able to dramatically improve their building’s energy performance, reduce operating costs and provide a test ground for energy-efficient design strategies to influence its clients. The JBDG Building now uses 69% less energy…

Aventine Case Study

Case Study / April 27, 2012

The Aventine in LaJolla, CA is a certified LEED Existing Building Platinum and has an Energy Star rating of 100, the highest possible, and uses just 23 kBtus/sf, 75% less than the national average for offices. Retrofits addressed high-energy loads…

Alliance Center

Case Study / April 27, 2012

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado launched a project titled “Modeling a Net Zero Future: Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings” to explore options that will enable it to approach a zero-net energy goal. Several documents developed for the project are referenced…

Joseph Vance Building

Case Study / April 27, 2012

Since its acquisition, significant investments have been made to renovate this building in Seattle to improve energy efficiency and environmental performance, as well as tenant experience. Occupancy increased from 68% to 96% and has seen increased rents, tenant retention and…

200 Market Building

Case Study / April 27, 2012

The 200 Market building in Portland, OR, has made continuous energy retrofits and system improvements. These efforts have moved the building from an ENERGY STAR score of 79 in 2006 to a score of 98 (out of 100) in 2010,…

Beardmore Building

Case Study / April 27, 2012

The Beardmore in Priest River, Idaho has the distinction of being one of the few buildings in the country that is both LEED Gold certified and on the National Register of Historic Places. The project demonstrates a very successful renovation…

Home On The Range

Case Study / April 27, 2012

This Project Profile builds on a case study prepared by USGBC, including data on energy performance for one year, and provides updated owner feedback and energy use data. The actual energy use of the building in Billings, MT, is 46…

Mercy Corps Headquarters

Case Study / April 27, 2012

This building in Portland, OR is 50% historic renovation and 50% new construction. The information in this profile addresses both the renovated and the new parts of the building. Pursuing energy efficiency supports their mission of sustainability, and lower operating…

1525 Wilson Boulevard

Case Study / April 27, 2012

This all-electric building in Rossyln, VA used a combination of energy efficiency strategies, including replacing HVAC and lighting systems and providing tenant education. Energy use was reduced by 35% in just one year, resulting in savings over $250,000 on energy…

A Case For Deep Savings: 11 Case studies of Deep Energy Retrofits

Case Study / August 23, 2011

For NEEA’s BetterBricks program, New Buildings Institute investigated* 11 examples of energy retrofits in existing commercial buildings that, on average, use 50% less energy than the national average – most with an energy use intensity (EUI) of less than 40…

Outcome-Based Energy Codes for Existing Buildings, Seattle Model Energy Code Project

Report / May 16, 2011

The Preservation Green Lab (PGL), the City of Seattle, and New Buildings Institute (NBI) are collaborating on a new energy code framework for existing and historic buildings that will pair accountability for actual performance outcomes with flexibility in how building…

Assessment of Market-Ready Evaporative Technologies for HVAC Applications

Report / January 28, 2010

NBI completed a report on the range of evaporative, evaporative hybrid and evaporative condensing technologies for HVAC applications on behalf of Southern California Edison including: technologies, manufacturers, market applications and adoption factors surrounding evaporative approaches to cooling.