New Buildings Institute

Code & Policy

2015 IgCC gives cities and states something to be thankful for

Post / November 25, 2014

As we move toward Thanksgiving this Thursday, the recent adoption of the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) gives cities and states a lot to be thankful for. Four critical proposals that will drive significant improvements in building energy performance...


NewsView All

2015 IgCC gives cities and states something to be thankful for

Post / November 25, 2014

As we move toward Thanksgiving this Thursday, the recent adoption of the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) gives cities and states a lot to be thankful for. Four critical proposals that will drive significant improvements in building energy performance...

Press ReleasesView All

Focused Strategies

There are no codes & policy for New Buildings Institute. Please see our other codes & policy below.

2024 IECC Code Change Proposal Synopsis

Codes & Policy / February 14, 2022

Below you will find summaries of the draft code amendments and links to revision details that were submitted by NBI into the ICC process to advance the 2024 IECC. They are identified as Commercial or Residential and categorized by efficiency,...

Embodied Carbon

Codes & Policy / February 13, 2022

Building operations and construction-related activities are responsible for approximately 39% of humanity‘s global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More than a fourth of those are embodied carbon emissions, those associated with the production of building materials, construction activities, operations, and end...

Building Performance Standards

Codes & Policy / January 21, 2022

Building performance standards (BPS) set targets for existing building energy performance and are one of the best tools we have for achieving deep energy savings and emissions reductions in existing buildings. They can be written to optimize the energy use...

Model and Base Energy Codes

Codes & Policy / July 16, 2021 / Energy Codes

For more than 20 years, NBI has been working with partners and within the code-making bodies to advance codes at the national, state, and local government levels. National model energy codes and standards like ASHRAE 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have...

Zero Cities Project

Codes & Policy / February 13, 2019 / Energy Codes

The Zero Cities Project is a three-year project supporting both cities and their most impacted communities* to co-develop and implement actionable and equitable roadmaps and policy strategies to achieve a zero-net-carbon (ZNC) building sector by 2050. Through a community collaboration...

Zero Energy/Carbon Codes

Codes & Policy / October 28, 2018 / 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...

Stretch Codes (Advanced Codes)

Codes & Policy / October 15, 2018 / Energy Codes

New design and process strategies can be demonstrated through a variety of advanced code strategies.  NBI builds market capacity for higher efficiency energy codes by encouraging the use of stretch codes (also referred to as reach codes). To support the...

Washington State Energy Code Roadmap to 2031

Codes & Policy / October 15, 2018 / Energy Codes

Many organizations and jurisdictions have adopted a range of building performance goals over the past decade that have significantly changed the conversation about energy codes and building energy performance.  The primary policy driver for the Washington State Energy Code increases in...

Steps to Achieving Outcome-Based Energy Codes

Codes & Policy / December 22, 2015

Outcome-based energy codes, codes  require that a number of policy, data and administration pieces be put in place.  


Codes & Policy / December 22, 2015

The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) includes many progressive measures that will improve the energy performance of buildings. One important provision describes the Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), which provides a scale for measuring commercial building energy performance. zEPI...

Zero Net Energy Policies

Codes & Policy / December 22, 2015

Policies and programs can dramatically change the landscape for Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings. There is burgeoning market interest in ZNE, and policies and programs can foster and grow that interest through leadership, direct support, and the reduction of risks and...

Aligning Utility Programs with Local Codes (Policy)

Codes & Policy / December 22, 2015

Bringing energy codes to market often involves a comprehensive approach that starts years before a code is adopted by a local jurisdiction. NBI provides technical assistance through each stage of code development. NBI aggregates technical information from existing high performance buildings. Observed trends...

Outcome-Based Energy Codes (Advanced Codes)

Codes & Policy / December 21, 2015

Our nation’s current energy codes include structural and enforcement characteristics that limit the ability to achieve significantly more energy savings without major changes. Current energy code strategies consider only a limited number of the factors that impact building energy performance. ...

Model Energy & Green Codes

Codes & Policy / December 19, 2015

NBI works collaboratively with a wide range of industry partners to bring model energy codes up to current market capabilities. Measures promoted by NBI include higher efficiency standards for equipment and advanced design strategies such as daylighting. Once adopted by states...

COMNET (Polcy)

Codes & Policy / December 19, 2015 / Policy

NBI manages the development of COMNET, a quality assurance initiative to standardize building energy modeling, by creating consistent baselines relative to various energy codes and standards. COMNET extends and supports existing systems for assessing and rating the energy efficiency of...

ResearchView All

Why K-12 Should Feature in America’s National Climate Strategy

Paper / April 21, 2021

This white paper by UndauntedK12, New Buildings Institute, and the Coalition for Climate Education Policy offers a national perspective on the urgent role that our K-12 sector must play in our national climate strategy. In particular, we urge state and…

Annual Report FY 2015-2016

Report / April 16, 2019

Increasing building energy efficiency is a process that we at New Buildings Institute have been active in for nearly 20 years. Whether driven by policy mandates, a corporate resolution, or by innovative engineers and architects striving for a better end…

Progress Report 2013-2014

Report / August 13, 2015

This Progress Report begins with a message from our CEO and Board President and contains key highlights from our programs, reports and news.


There are no events for New Buildings Institute. Please see our other events below.

Heat Pumps for Pools and Spas – Manufacturers Roundtable

Event / July 17, 2024 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am PDT

Swimming pools are enjoyed by communities around the world and are often heated to provide more comfortable swimming year-round. But heating such large volumes of water can be very expensive and energy intensive. In this roundtable, we’ll discuss heat pumps…

Embodied Carbon + Electrification – Full path to Decarbonization

Webinar / August 14, 2024 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am PDT

In this webinar, we'll delve into the intricate relationship between electrification and embodied carbon, exploring how factors such as refrigerants, insulation, and thermal storage are pivotal to full building decarbonization. We'll explore issues such as the interplay between embodied and…

NewsView All

2024 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

News / June 5, 2024

Published by Oregon Business: New Buildings Institute ranked 42 out of 100 for best green workplaces in Oregon.

NBI Summer 2023 Newsletter

News / August 9, 2023

Our latest newsletter includes a new study surrounding Plug-In Heat Pump Water Heaters, a new blog on how homeowners with 100-150 amp panels can electrify their homes without a panel upgrade, information about our July 26th’s All-Electric Commercial Kitchens webinar,...

NBI Spring 2023 Newsletter

News / March 20, 2023

Our latest newsletter includes information about our 2023 Getting to Zero forum and how to register, recent blog post on central heat pump water heaters, recent verified projects from the CIRRUS Low Carbon program, a recent podcast featuring NBI and...

Energy in the Built Environment

News / January 30, 2023

Published by Connected World: Peggy Smedley digs deep into the NBI annual report to see how public policies and programs are changing to improve energy efficiency in our buildings.

2022 at NBI – Year in Review

News / January 4, 2023

Last year was a big year for NBI – not only did it mark our organization’s 25th anniversary, but we logged major accomplishments for every month of 2022. We’re grateful for the support you’ve given us along the way, which...

Passive House Podcast Ep. 120: Ralph DiNola, New Buildings Institute

News / January 3, 2023

Published by Passive House Accelerator: Passive House Podcast cohost Zack Semke interviews Ralph DiNola, Chief Executive Officer of New Buildings Institute (NBI). The two conducted the interview in the PAE Living Building in Portland, Oregon, the site of NBI’s headquarters...

Passive House Podcast Ep. 119: Mark Lyles, New Buildings Institute

News / January 3, 2023

Published by Passive House Accelerator: Passive House Podcast cohost Zack Semke interviews Mark Lyles, Senior Project Manager at New Buildings Institute (NBI). The two conducted the interview in the PAE Living Building in Portland, Oregon, the site of NBI’s headquarters...

Winter 2022 Newsletter from NBI

News / December 13, 2022

Our latest newsletter includes information on how to make comments on the 2024 residential IECC (please note that the deadline has now passed), the first CIRRUS Low Carbon project, new EMPOWERED resources to support distributed energy resource permitting and inspections,...

Fall 2022 Newsletter from NBI

News / October 19, 2022

Our latest newsletter includes information on our recently released Existing Building Decarbonization Code, how to make comments on the 2024 commercial IECC, the world’s first GridOptimal® building, results from Net Zero Buildings Week, and more. Interested in receiving email communications...

NBI’s Smita Gupta to serve as Director for Federal Facility Decarbonization

News / August 30, 2022

New Buildings Institute is proud to announce that Director of Building Innovation Smita Gupta has been appointed as a detailee to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)! The CEQ is one part of the Executive Office of the President and...

Want to actually fix the environment? Change how buildings are built

News / January 29, 2021

Published by Fast Company: The U.S. is recommitting to dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and capping global warming under 1.5ºC. How do we make progress while also managing through a global pandemic? We need to talk about buildings. For decades,...

How Biden’s Sweeping Climate Plan Impacts CRE

News / January 28, 2021

Published by Commercial Property Executive: The executive orders create what the president called a “unified national response” to climate change. This article helps explain what that means for commercial real estate. Ralph DiNola, CEO, is quoted in the article, “We...

2020 NBI Newsletters

News / December 7, 2020

December 2020 Newsletter The December 2020 Newsletter includes information about: the growth of zero-energy verified buildings since 2018, 2021 IECC, the Advanced Water Heating Initiative, implementing building performance standards to reduce carbon emissions, a new awards program spotlighting all-electric building...

AECCafe Bunker Broadcast

News / December 3, 2020

Hear Reilly Loveland, Project Manager, talk about NBI, the Peninsula Clean Energy awards program, and more on the AECCafe Bunker Broadcast. Visit to see some of the resources she mentioned during the call.

To Deal with Climate Crisis, Society Needs to Address Disconnect Between Energy and Health

News / October 2, 2020

Published by ecoRI News: As the planet spins into a deepening climate crisis, energy is one of the key topics on the table when it comes to mitigation. But much of the discussion, be it about solar power, wind energy,...

2030 Climate Challenge

News / August 24, 2020

Earlier this year, the #2030ClimateChallenge launched to find bold solutions to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prioritize a low-carbon future that promotes economic prosperity and personal well-being. NBI is proud to partner with the Institute for Market Transformation, Architecture...

Electrification Nation: Buildings and Energy

News / July 22, 2020

Published by Residential and commercial buildings are responsible for almost 40% of total carbon emissions in the United States. Policymakers with a focus on climate action are taking notice; they are advancing both policies that reduce emissions from the...

Local students and parents win Green School Awards

News / March 6, 2020

Published by Portland Tribune: Local students, parents and others were honored for their efforts to help make area schools more sustainable during the Green Schools Conference and Expo in Portland on Monday, March 2. Reilly Loveland, project manager of the...

Trying To Build A Zero Carbon Future

News / March 3, 2020

In this interview at GreenBuild 2019, Ralph DiNola, CEO, spoke about his green building goals, his desire to bring the building sector to zero carbon and zero energy.

2019 NBI Newsletters

News / December 10, 2019

The December 2019 newsletter is available here. Read our December 2019 newsletter for a variety of energy related news, including: 2021 IECC, San Jose’s Reach Codes, NBI Fellows, Zero Carbon buildings, Passive House, California’s ZNE Leadership Award winners, a new...

2019 Women of Vision award winners named

News / September 9, 2019

The Daily Journal of Commerce has announced the 2019 class of Women of Vision honorees. Amy Cortese, NBI project director, was named as one of the 44 women in the building industry that have not only succeeded in the workplace,...

USGBC And New Buildings Institute Sign MOU To Work Together To Advance Energy Efficiency In Net Zero Buildings

News / June 3, 2019

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and New Buildings Institute (NBI) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing the organizations’ relationship. The MoU was signed on May 14 in Seattle, Wash. and defines parameters on how the two...

ASHRAE signs three new MOUs

News / May 27, 2019

Published by Cooling Post: ASHRAE has extended its areas of future collaboration with the signing of agreements with a number of leading organisations. In the last few days the US association has signed MOUs with the International District Energy Association...

Cathy Higgins recognized as a 2018 Women of Vision Honoree

News / October 23, 2018

Published in the Daily Journal of Commerce: Cathy Higgins, Research Director, was recently recognized as a 2018 Women of Vision honoree by the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce. The annual Women of Vision awards recognize women in the Portland, Oregon,...

2018 ACEEE Summer Study Papers and Posters

News / August 27, 2018

NBI staff presented at the 2018 ACEEE Summer Study in several panels, including “Codes and Standards”, “Net Zero: Moving Beyond 1%”, and “Poster Display Presentations”. Their papers and posters are available here: Jim Edelson, Director of Codes & Policy, presented Taking...

Planning Under Way for First Sustainable Building Week

News / August 24, 2018

Published in the Daily Journal of Commerce: The inaugural Sustainable Building Week begins October 8 and will include panel discussions, lectures, building tours, design slams (challenges), open houses and more in Portland. All of this is to promote green building...

2018 State of the Industry

News / February 1, 2018

Every year, Metal Construction News asks industry experts to present their ideas on where the industry will go in the next few years. This year, experts look at a growing economy that still sometimes sputters, code regulations that need constant...

Oregon Greens Cheer Brown’s Orders on Energy Efficient Buildings, Electric Vehicles

News / November 7, 2017

Published in Portland Business Journal: Governor Kate Brown issued executive orders intending to encourage more energy efficient buildings and electric vehicle adoption. An array of green groups that includes New Buildings Institute cheered the moves and used the occasion to...

CAISO Expands Attendee Roster for Stakeholder Symposium

News / October 22, 2017

The rapidly changing energy landscape in the Western U.S. was the recurring theme at CAISO’s 2017 Stakeholder Symposium. About 1,000 attendees from the industry, its disruptors and other counterparts gathered at the Sacramento Convention Center. To bring new voices into...

Energy Department awards nearly $1.3 million to encourage data-driven local energy planning; releases research results

News / August 12, 2016 / Benchmarking & Feedback

In support of cities’ efforts to reduce energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of energy efficiency technologies, the Energy Department today selected three projects to help cities integrate energy analysis and data into their strategic decision...

DOE Awards $3.7 Million to Spur Investment in Commercial Energy Code Compliance

News / June 29, 2016

The Building Technologies Office has selected three projects to receive a total of $3.7 million to study the effects of improving the implementation of commercial building energy codes. New Buildings Institure is responsible for one of these projects. NBI will...

USGBC approves New Construction Guide for LEED Pilot Credit Library

News / February 10, 2016

(Portland, Ore.) Feb. 11, 2016 – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has approved the addition of New Buildings Institute’s (NBI) New Construction® New Construction Guide as a LEED Pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP). By following the prescriptive path in...

Why a leading building energy group relocated from Washington to Portland

News / August 11, 2015

After operating for 18 years in Vancouver, Washington, White Salmon, Washington and Hood River, New Buildings Institute has relocated to the Rose City. Portland Business Journal caught up with Ralph DiNola, CEO, to find out more about the move and upcoming...

Nancy Jenkins of Southern California Edison Joins NBI Board

News / June 17, 2015

June 17, 2015—New Buildings Institute (NBI) has announced the addition of Nancy Jenkins, manager of DSM Strategy and Compliance at Southern California Edison (SCE), as the newest member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Ms. Jenkins is currently responsible for...


When flying is essential, how to make an impact through voluntary carbon offsets

Post / March 24, 2023

Greenhouse gas emissions from the airline industry are reaching new heights. By 2050, more than a quarter of all global emissions are expected to come from the aviation industry, according to a UN report. While many individuals and organizations are...

ASHRAE accelerates building decarbonization

Post / February 28, 2023

ASHRAE, along with 24 of the world’s leading building industry organizations, issued a statement a few months ago to government representatives attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 27) pledging to assume a leadership role in...

Hopeful in 2022 during this make-or-break year on climate change

Post / January 6, 2022

We are optimists, and a new year offers opportunities for inspiration and hope. Our current challenges seem unrelenting. But even as we battle several emergencies all at once, we see bright spots of opportunity for necessary and significant progress to...

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at New Buildings Institute

Post / September 28, 2021

We recognize there are structural injustices and inequities in our systems and climate work. NBI is committed to the journey necessary to ensure every member of our society has equal access to and benefits from zero energy and zero carbon....

Reilly Loveland Wins USGBC Green Schools Ambassador Award

Post / March 12, 2020

NBI Project Manager Reilly Loveland was recently awarded the USGBC Center for Green Schools Ambassador Award at the March Green Schools Conference and Expo held this year in NBI’s hometown, Portland. Ore. We asked Reilly some questions about the award,...

Reflecting on the 2019 Getting to Zero Forum – Optimism, Urgency and Poised for Action

Post / November 13, 2019

As urgency around addressing climate change increases, local leaders are working to define near-term actions, including those targeting the built environment, which accounts for 39% of global carbon emissions. Uptake in actions happening across the United States include: a surge...

Linking Legends

Post / July 20, 2018 / Policy

John Wilson accepting the Jeffrey Johnson Award John Wilson, former Board President of New Buildings Institute, has been awarded the 2018 Jeffrey A. Johnson Award for Excellence in the Advancement Of Building Energy Codes. This award is named in honor...

Getting to 50 and Back Again

Post / May 30, 2018

2005 was a tumultuous year and it was in those challenging times that I got the call that Jeff Johnson was gone – a mountain bike accident in the Columbia River Gorge. I knew Jeff as the Executive Director of...

U.S. Clean Energy Jobs: Mapped Out

Post / March 15, 2018

In case you might’ve missed it, U.S. Clean Energy Progress released a comprehensive, dynamic tool that visually illustrates the strong growth and economic benefits of clean energy jobs, including wind, solar and energy efficiency, across the U.S. The U.S. Clean...

Eric Makela Joins NBI’s Codes and Policy Team

Post / February 22, 2018 / Energy Codes

We are pleased to announce the addition of Eric Makela to our Codes and Policy team. He brings over 30 years of global expertise in energy code development, training and evaluation, throughout the United States as well as abroad, including...

Moving Daylighting into a New Era

Post / December 29, 2017 / Daylighting

In the energy efficiency world, we know that if there are specific and tangible non-energy benefits to energy conserving measures, it can be a game changer to motivating the implementation of these measures. One example of this is the work...

Checking in with the Passive House Network

Post / December 7, 2017 / Energy Codes

It’s been over 25 years since the Passive House concept — tight, well designed and insulated envelope and minimized mechanical loads — was formalized in Germany, and it feels like the movement has reached a tipping point here in North...

NBI 20th Anniversary: The Arc of Innovation

Post / September 21, 2017

Anniversaries provide the opportunity to mark a point in time and provide the space to examine accomplishments, purpose, and vision of the future. Staff and board members, some with NBI since the beginning, are reflecting on why the organization was...

The Sum of its Parts – Honoring the Paris Climate Agreement

Post / June 2, 2017 / Policy

Last October, New Buildings Institute along with a host of partners, opened the Getting to Zero National Forum with great enthusiasm, sharing gratitude and satisfaction over the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement, noting how the global agreement to address...

New Tool Calculates Water Savings from Energy Efficiency Measures, Spotlights the Water-Energy Nexus in Buildings

Post / May 31, 2017

The water-energy nexus is a nascent topic in the building industry. The impact on water systems linked to energy generation has important ecological, conservation, and sustainability implications, particularly in water-strained areas such as the Southwestern desert of the United States....

Increasing Energy Efficiency Through Connected Systems

Post / May 11, 2016 / Integrated Solutions

Ralph Dinola, CEO, recently spoke at the EE Global Forum in Washington, D.C. The presentation was “Increasing EE Through Connected Systems: How Can Communities Take Into Account Holistic System Efficiency From Day One”, and this is his talk. At NBI,...

Top 16 Trends for 2016

Post / January 6, 2016

Each year at NBI, we get together to discuss the most significant and potentially impactful or disruptive trends we see coming in the commercial building and energy sectors and actions individuals can take to get ahead of what’s to come....

A Pause to Remember Jeff Johnson

Post / August 18, 2015

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the passing of Jeff Johnson, New Buildings Institute’s (NBI) former executive director from 2000 to 2005. He died doing what he loved, mountain biking in the Columbia Gorge. Jeff was a person who...

We Hear You

Post / March 4, 2015

I recently checked in with as many NBI stakeholders as I could to learn a little more about them and to see how NBI’s doing. A few months ago an email containing a link to an online communications interest survey...

NBI taps Charles Eley as a Fellow

Post / August 21, 2014

New Buildings Institute (NBI) is pleased to announce that Charles Eley, longtime energy efficiency advocate and consultant, has been named an NBI Fellow. NBI Fellowship recognizes luminary energy efficiency professionals who have made a significant contribution to society through their...

Case StudiesView All

There are no case studies for New Buildings Institute. Please see our other case studies below.

Automated Window Treatment Case Study

Case Study / June 1, 2021

Several manufacturers offer innovative window treatment solutions that allow daylight into spaces while controlling for glare and allowing views to the outdoors. In this case study, we focus on Indoor Sky’s Daylighter Shading System. The system has two parts: automated…

California State University Dominguez Hills—James L. Welch Hall

Case Study / June 1, 2021

The Welch Hall building on the CSUDH campus partnered with the project team to retrofit their existing Enlighted lighting system and manual shades to the INTER package – which included LED lighting with Luminaire-level lighting control (LLLC), solar-powered automated shades,…

Santa Ana City Hall Tower on 20 Civic Center Plaza

Case Study / June 1, 2021

The City Hall building in Santa Ana sought to improve their indoor environment and save on energy costs with automated shades, upgraded lighting fixtures and networked lighting controls. The project updated the existing T8 lamps to LEDs and controlled the…

Ultra-Low Energy Campus Case Study: King Open/Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex Case Study

Case Study / July 20, 2020

In 2015 the Cambridge city council voted to adopt a Net Zero Action Plan, requiring all city buildings to target net zero energy design by 2020. When the City issued the request for proposals for the new King Open/Cambridge Street…

Emerging Zero Net Energy School Retrofit Case Study: Los Osos Middle School

Case Study / January 24, 2018

The mild climate in coastal cities such as Los Osos makes ZNE performance a realistic target with minimal needs for heating and cooling. It should however be noted that in such mild climates payback on upgrades to heating systems can…

Emerging Zero Net Energy School Retrofit Case Study: Newcastle Elementary School

Case Study / January 24, 2018

With funding from California’s Prop 39, the Newcastle Elementary School District (ESD) issued a request for proposal to develop an Energy Expenditure Plan for their district. With a long list of deferred maintenance issues and budget challenges, Newcastle ESD was…

Emerging Zero Net Energy School Retrofit Case Study: Garden Grove School District

Case Study / January 24, 2018

Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) is a large, low-income school district that has recently become a regional leader in Zero Net Energy. Among California’s 140 school districts with greater than 65% for Free & Reduced Price Meals, GGUSD was…

Radiant Cooling and Heating Systems

Case Study / September 13, 2017 / HVAC

Several buildings with radiant heating and cooling systems were studied under a California Energy Commission EPIC research project in 2016-2017 and those case studies are available here. While forced-air distribution systems remain the predominant approach to heating and cooling in…

Verified ZNE Building Case Study: North Face & VF Outdoors

Case Study / March 8, 2017

The North Face corporate facility is part of the VF Outdoor Campus in Alameda, California. The VF Outdoors Headquarters occupies 14 acres of the Harbor Business Park and includes a 160,000-square-foot, four-building development completed in 2012. A fifth building is…

Emerging ZNE Building Case Study: Environmental Innovation Center

Case Study / March 8, 2017

Completed in 2014, the Environmental Innovation Center (EIC) in San José, CA, is a local government-owned education and environmental resources center that is targeting zero net energy (ZNE) performance. The project contains a 10,000-square-foot new building and a retrofit of…

Emerging ZNE Building Case Study: California State Lottery District Office in Santa Fe Springs

Case Study / March 8, 2017

The California State Lottery District Office in Santa Fe Springs is a retrofit of an existing 12,840-square-foot warehouse and is one of the first state-owned and operated buildings to target zero net energy (ZNE). The Lottery partnered with LPAS Architecture…

Verified ZNE Building Case Study: Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems Manufacturing Facility

Case Study / March 8, 2017

The Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems (BAGS) manufacturing facility is a retrofit of a 1969 concrete warehouse that was renovated in 2008 to be a zero net energy (ZNE) building. The 63,000-square-foot Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems manufacturing facility produces custom glass…

Verified ZNE Building Case Study: 435 Indio Way

Case Study / March 8, 2017

435 Indio Way in Sunnyvale, California, was built in 1973 as a research and development laboratory and office for Hewlett Packard. Like many buildings in the Silicon Valley, it is a simple one-story, tilt-up that since 2006 had been left…

Ultra-Low Energy School Case Study: Jeffrey Trail Middle School

Case Study / December 13, 2016

The Jeffrey Trail Middle School is a new school in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD). The school was designed and constructed to meet the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) performance standards for exemplary energy and water conservation. With…

Ultra-Low Energy School Case Study: Georgina Blach Intermediate School

Case Study / December 13, 2016

The Georgina Blach Intermediate School, part of the Los Altos School District, Iocated in Los Altos, California, serves 450 students in seventh and eighth grades. Facilities at the school were unimproved since their construction in 1958, 1962-63 and 1978 and…

Emerging ZNE School Case Study: George V. LeyVa Middle School Administration Building

Case Study / December 13, 2016

The George V. LeyVa Middle School Administration Building was designed to be one of the first zero net energy (ZNE) public school buildings in California as well as the first zero net emissions public school building in California. This leading…

Verified ZNE Case Study: West Berkeley Public Library

Case Study / December 13, 2016

The West Berkeley Public Library is the first verified zero net energy (ZNE) public library in California. Completed in late 2013, the 9,400-square-foot library produces as much or more energy than it consumes on an annual basis. To reach its…

Ultra-Low Energy School Case Study: San Francisco City College Multi-Use Building

Case Study / December 13, 2016

The San Francisco City College Multi-Use Building is a pioneering project for large, low-energy facilities. At 102,000 square feet, the building is one of the largest in the United States to rely nearly entirely on natural ventilation to meet fresh…

Verified ZNE Multifamily Case Study: zHome Multifamily Complex

Case Study / October 10, 2016

The zHome multifamily complex was the first zero net energy project of its kind in the United States. This complex is made up of 10 units and a shared community area. The design approach of the project centered on energy…

Verified ZNE Portfolio Case Study: Gundersen Health System

Case Study / October 10, 2016

Gundersen Health System is the largest portfolio of buildings striving to reach zero net energy performance on a district wide scale in North America. The portfolio is made up of 45 new and existing buildings and spanning more than 2.5…

Savings Verification for Performance Contracting

Case Study / December 23, 2015

Washington’s Department of General Administration supervised an energy system retrofit of Spokane’s Westlake State Hospital and then was responsible for verifying the energy savings resulting from the improvements. However, when the hospital’s energy management system experienced a partial loss of…

The Runaway Building

Case Study / December 23, 2015

EZ Sim showed its versatility and its accuracy when analyzing a building with run away winter energy bills. While the building was initially modeled using a traditional engineering method, EZ Sim provided a quicker alternative to identify the nature of…

EZ SIM – Shows Bonus Energy Savings for County Office Building

Case Study / December 23, 2015

When a county building’s facility manager wanted to know if it was time to upgrade the building’s heat pumps, EZ Sim’s detective work helped to uncover more savings in more places than she bargained.

New England Regional Council of Carpenters

Case Study / December 23, 2015

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) represents 22,000 carpenters, pile drivers, shop and mill men, and floorcoverers working in the New England states.

Gibney Family Vision Center

Case Study / December 23, 2015

The Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI), a non-profit organization founded in 1926, is the only private rehabilitation agency to offer free training, services and support to visually impaired Vermonters of all ages. VABVI offices are located…

Fidelity Bank

Case Study / December 23, 2015

Fidelity Bank is one of the oldest and continually growing independent, local community banks in Central Massachusetts. In January 2007, the bank opened its new Corporate Center and Branch in Leominster, Massachusetts. The four-story building includes office space as well…

Duxbury Bay Maritime School

Case Study / December 23, 2015

Serving more than 1,800 students annually, the not-for-profit Duxbury Bay Maritime School aims to connect the community through educational and recreational programs with its primary resource, Duxbury Bay.

Child and Family of Newport County

Case Study / December 23, 2015

Child and Family of Newport County (CF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening families and communities through services such as preschool childcare, counseling, home care for the elderly and disabled, substance abuse education, home-based child welfare, transitional housing for…

Abraham Lincoln Elementary School

Case Study / December 23, 2015

In September 2010, the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School opened its new green building, ready to accommodate 600 students. This new building includes masonry and steel construction, a 3,300 square foot state-of-the-art library and media center, a 5,700 square foot gymnasium,…

New Construction Project Directory & Case Studies

Case Study / December 23, 2015

Information about New Construction projects that have utilized Core Performance are available here and, when available, include links to case studies or project profiles.

Emerging ZNE K-12 School: Turkey Foot Middle School

Case Study / December 19, 2015

The Kenton County School District believes “schools should use less energy, demonstrate sound environmental practices and serve as a fundamental tool for learning.” Since the District had experience with a formal energy management program that saved over $2 million since…

Ultra-Low Energy Building: The Ramona

Case Study / December 19, 2015

The Ramona is a mixed-use development in the urban Pearl District of Portland, Oregon. The building hosts 138 units of affordable housing and two educational facilities. Portland Public Schools rents 13,000 SF for programs for children ages 3 to 6.…

Verified ZNE Retail Bank Branch: TD Bank

Case Study / December 19, 2015

TD Bank has been an environmental leader since 1990. As one of the ten largest banks in the United States, they chose to move beyond LEED certification to pilot a Zero Net Energy design for a retail bank branch in…

Emerging ZNE K-12 School: Dr. David Suzuki Public School

Case Study / December 19, 2015

The Dr. David Suzuki Public School combines readily available and demonstration technologies to create a school building that serves as a living laboratory for 550 students in Windsor, Ontario. The two-story kindergarten through 8th grade school includes classrooms, a gymnasium,…

Emerging ZNE Building: Rice Fergus Miller Office and Studio

Case Study / December 19, 2015

Rice Fergus Miller breathed new life into an abandoned 1948 Sears Automotive Center and positioned their new office solidly on the path to net zero. This urban infill transformation project took a dilapidated structure that had been abandoned for 23…

Verified ZNE School: Putney Field House

Case Study / December 19, 2015

The Putney Field House is located on a 461-acre parcel, with areas dedicated to forestry, education and agriculture. The site includes indigenous plantings and a production garden. The state-of-the art field house and wellness center was built to provide winter…

Verified ZNE Building: Leon County Cooperative Extension Office Building

Case Study / December 19, 2015

The mission of the Leon County Cooperative Extension is to educate the community about research performed at the University of Florida through interactive opportunities and demonstration sites. A recent retrofit of their 13,000 SF office was the perfect opportunity to…

Verified ZNE District: Anna Maria Historic Green Village

Case Study / December 19, 2015

The Anna Maria Historic Green Village is an unusual combination of historic restoration and modern technology. Owners Mike and Lizzie Thrasher have worked diligently to preserve four 100-year old buildings and merge history with state-of-the-art green technology, all while bringing…

Emerging ZNE Museum: Exploratorium

Case Study / December 19, 2015

When the Exploratorium outgrew its old location at the Palace of Fine Arts, the City of San Francisco offered to provide Piers 15 and 17 on its historic waterfront as a larger relocation option for the science museum. After structurally…

Verified ZNE Small Office Retrofit: Bacon Street Offices

Case Study / December 19, 2015

The Bacon Street Office project is a 4,500 SF retrofit of a single-story, 1950’s-era auto repair shop into a high performance office for the firm ARCHITECTS hannah gabriel wells. Through creative design strategies, renewable energy generation and with support from…

Verified ZNE Training Center: Zero Net Energy Center

Case Study / December 19, 2015

When it came time to upgrade their training facility, the IBEW Local 595 and NECA chapters targeted net zero energy. They wanted to demonstrate that this goal was achievable and train their electrical contractors on the latest, cutting-edge energy efficiency…

Verified ZNE Office: David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Case Study / December 19, 2015

When the Packard Foundation started thinking about building a new headquarters, they wanted to make sure the final product reflected the organization’s values. These include conserving the Earth’s natural resources over the long-term, providing a comfortable and healthy space that…

Ultra-Low Energy High Rise Office: The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Headquarters

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Existing Buildings

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) headquarters is an ultralow-energy, Class A office building that pushes the norm in sustainable design. Located in downtown San Francisco, the 13-story building houses more than 900 employees who were previously located in…

Ultra-Low Energy Multifamily Residence: La Valentina North Townhomes

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Existing Buildings

The La Valentine North Townhome project is the result of a partnership between SMUD and the owner/developer of the project, Domus Development LLC. The 18-unit affordable multifamily development is a research and demonstration project in SMUD’s Townhouse Home of the…

Verified ZNE K-12 School: Redding School for the Arts

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Existing Buildings

Redding School for the Arts in Northern California connects education and arts for K-8 students in a community of 90,000 people. The school was originally created in August 1999 in response to the rapid decline of arts programs in local…

Verified ZNE Small Office Retrofit: DPR Construction

Case Study / December 19, 2015 / Existing Buildings

Acting as owner, designer and contractor, DPR rehabbed a near-obsolete, 1984 building into a vibrant, zero-net energy multi-tenant office. DPR’s new 24,000 SF tenant improvement includes an open office space along with 11 conference rooms, a large gathering area and…


Case Study / June 6, 2012

In March 2007, 31 staff at StopWaste.Org moved into a renovated building in downtown Oakland, California. Their goal was to transform a dilapidated, 14,000 SF, two-story structure into an attractive and environmentally responsible building. Built in 1926, the building is…

Case Studies of Applications for FirstView Software

Case Study / May 21, 2012

Several organizations and companies have utilized the FirstView™ software to analyze building energy performance. Some have relied on FirstView software for diagnostics to lead them to potential areas for improvement, while others have used FirstView software as a way to…

FirstView and USGBC Building Performance

Case Study / May 18, 2012

NBI's FirstView™ software and services have been used on over 200 LEED buildings involved in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Building Performance Partnership (BPP). BPP is a voluntary program designed to improve the performance of green buildings by providing a…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Verified Zero Energy Building: IDeAs Z2 Design Facility

Case Study / April 26, 2012

IDeAs’ new headquarters in San Jose, CA was designed to meet 100% of its net energy requirements using renewable energy from photovoltaics.

A Zero Energy-Capable Building: Jane D’Aza Convent, House of Formation

Case Study / April 25, 2012

This series of smaller buildings in San Rafael, CA reflects a contemporary vision that includes a strong commitment to environmental responsibility.

Ultra-Low Energy Building: Doyle Conservation Center

Case Study / April 25, 2012

This training facility showcases the organization’s conservation activities. The LEED Gold rating reflects the mission of the Trustees of Reservations, which is “To preserve for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.”

Ultra-Low Energy School: Plano Elementary School

Case Study / April 25, 2012

Plano Elementary School serves 435 students in Warren County, Kentucky. The building includes 32 classrooms, 14 offices, six resource centers, media center, gym, server room, and cafeteria with kitchen. There are 20 public schools in this district and five of…

Ultra-Low Energy Building: Gilman Ordway Building at the Woods Hole Research Center

Case Study / April 25, 2012

In Falmouth, MA a 19th-century summer home is respectfully adapted with the addition of a contemporary office, laboratory, and common spaces. The integration of passive-solar and energy-conservation strategies, optimal performance, and onsite renewable power generation make this building 83% more…

A Zero Energy-Capable Building: Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies

Case Study / April 25, 2012

For this two-story building in Cupertino, CA the design process moved through six steps to responsibly approach carbon neutral operation and roughly track increasing cost effectiveness.

Verified Zero Energy Building: Omega Center for Sustainable Living

Case Study / April 25, 2012

Achieving net-zero energy required a design that eliminated waste and maximized the use of renewable energy resources. This building in Rhinebeck, NY is purposely compact, organized to harvest daylight, solar energy, and cooling breezes to reduce energy needs

A Zero Energy-Capable Building: Wampanoag Tribal Headquarters

Case Study / April 25, 2012

This building serves as an administrative, educational, and social center for the Wampanoag tribe, which has inhabited Martha’s Vineyard for hundreds of years. The design approach embodies the traditional Native American belief system of interdependence and respect for nature.

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…

Measured Performance Case Study: Classroom & Office Building, UC Merced

Case Study / January 26, 2010

The Classroom and Office Building (COB) examined in this case study is one of five buildings in the initial phase of development at UC Merced. This case study examines the actual post-occupancy performance of COB in relation to design elements…

Measured Performance Case Study: Science & Engineering Building 1, UC Merced

Case Study / January 26, 2010

Science & Engineering (S&E) Building I is one of five buildings in the initial phase of development at UC Merced. This case study examines the actual post-occupancy energy performance of S&E in relation to design elements and objectives.

Tools & Guides

About NBI

Factsheet / December 7, 2019

With this printer friendly 2-page factsheet, learn more about how NBI is working to find strategic points of leverage that will deliver the best outcomes for improving building efficiency.

About New Buildings Institute (NBI)

Guideline / February 27, 2013

New Buildings Institute (NBI) is a nonprofit organization working to improve the energy performance of commercial buildings. Learn more in this print friendly factsheet.