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

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 performance and net zero energy (NZE) commercial buildings across North America and beyond. The searchable database includes project-specific information on measured and modeled energy performance, environmental characteristics, design process, finances and more. Members of design and construction teams are listed, as are sources for additional information. Filters allow users to easily identify buildings that have been verified by NBI as zero energy performers—currently, 37 confirmed projects with 12-months of measured data–or are working toward that goal.

The Getting to Zero Buildings Database is built on the backbone of the Department of Energy’s High Performance Buildings Database. In this way, it’s similar to NBI’s previous Getting to 50 Buildings Database, which has now been retired. However, the Getting to Zero Buildings Database is a different animal with more than double the number of buildings, new features and capabilities, better data organization and easier access.

There are several things you can do with this database that you can’t do elsewhere including filtering projects by various parameters such as location, climate zone, building type Energy Use Intensity (EUI), retrofit vs. new construction, and more. There are buildings represented from all climate zones across the U.S. and Canada (including 44 US states, DC and Puerto Rico) as well as selected international projects.
Zero Energy Buildings Nationally

This new resource contains information about buildings of many different shapes and sizes. Office buildings and education buildings are the most common, with 134 and 69 buildings respectively, but many other building types are present. Buildings of all sizes are represented, from small classrooms like the Bertschi School Science Wing all the way up to iconic skyscrapers like the Condé Nast Building at 4 Times Square. Selected district-level or community-wide solutions are included too; one good example is the Greensburg (Kansas) Sustainable Master Plan. As shown below, a variety of building sizes are represented with the majority under 50,000 square feet.
Square Footage Image              If you know of a building that should be represented in this database, please share your project with NBI. Or maybe your state is a blank on our map. If you have information about buildings or if you’d like to provide some feedback on this new resource, please send me an email.