Institute Seeks Net-Zero Entries for Database


The New Buildings Institute recently announced a call for project submissions for its Getting to Zero Buildings Database from designers, builders, developers and owners of zero-energy and low-energy commercial buildings.

Buildings and multifamily homes found to encompass low-energy or zero-energy consumption—occurring when a structure consumes only as much energy as is produced over the course of a year by clean, renewable energy—will be entered into the database’s comprehensive listing.

Getting to Zero Database

Developed in May, the Getting to Zero Buildings Database works to identify, research, analyze and promote leading commercial and multifamily buildings in North America that encompass low- and zero-energy characteristics, according to the New Buildings Institute.

However, the institute has been conducting research on zero energy in buildings long before the database’s development. The entity reports that commercial buildings in the Getting to Zero Buildings Database have grown by more than 30% since the release of NBI’s 2018 Getting to Zero Status Update and List of Zero Energy Projects.

Additionally, residential projects have shown a 59% increase—totaling more than 20,000 homes—over its count in the Zero Energy Residential Buildings Study, which was released in July 2018.

In using the NBI Getting to Zero Buildings Database, viewers are invited to explore an interactive tool that enables those to create customized maps, lists and charts from the list of zero-energy commercial and multifamily buildings. The tool is divvied up by “Map and List” or “Analysis” tabs, which can be filtered by various check boxes including zero energy status, state or providence, ownership, building size range and building type.

“As more cities and states set lofty climate action goals, zero energy buildings are playing an increasingly important role in reducing carbon emissions and costs associated with operating buildings,” says Ralph DiNola, CEO of NBI.

“By submitting their buildings to our registry for inclusion in the Getting to Zero Buildings Database, people can gain recognition for their leadership while also increasing awareness about the positive economic, environmental and human health impacts of zero energy buildings.”

What Happens Next

Both verified emerging and completed projects that already are—or that intend to become—zero energy, as well as zero-carbon buildings, are being invited by the NBI to be vetted and added to the interactive database.

Forms to submit your zero-energy or low-energy project into the Getting to Zero Buildings Registry for inclusion in the Zero Energy Buildings Database can be found here.

NBI adds that if a project is approved, not only will it be recognized on the platform by other building professionals, but will also help to raise awareness about energy-conscious segments in the industry and the growing demand for zero energy in buildings.

Other Recent Energy-Saving Actions

Earlier this year, the National Institute of Building Sciences and NBI, along with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, developed a new tool to aid municipalities deal with energy use in buildings.

The tool, dubbed the “Life-Cycle Energy Performance Framework for Cities,” is available on the NIBS’ Whole Building Design Guide web portal, and gives users the opportunity to customize their own path to implement life-cycle-based energy policies and gather tracking reports.

The tool is organized first in four overarching categories, including Leadership; Data, Analysis and Applications; Mechanisms; and Ensuring Results.

Additionally, over the summer, the United States Green Building Council and NBI signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, formalizing the organizations’ relationship, defining parameters on how they will continue to “advance and promote mutual interests of their respective members and stakeholders.”

According to NBI, the agreement intends to:

  • Improve capability of building industry professionals to deliver high-performance, zero energy and zero emissions buildings, as well as buildings that are optimized for grid interactions;
  • Drive increased numbers of zero (and net-zero) energy, zero emissions and LEED Zero-certified buildings;
  • Extend adoption of stretch energy codes and improve code compliance and enforcement; and
  • Enhance social equity, public health and resilience associated with energy and energy systems and communicate these achievements through platforms like USGBC’s Living Standard campaign.

Regarding individual cities' plans for reducing greenhouse emissions and establishing carbon neutrality, both New York City and Pittsburgh have become the first cities in the world to participate in the United Nations Economic Council on Europe’s center of excellence agreement.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced the city’s “Green New Deal,” a $14 billion plan that is aiming to reduce the city’s greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2030 in April, while Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance signed its International Center of Excellence on High-Performance Buildings agreement in October.


Tagged categories: Commercial Buildings; Design - Commercial; Energy codes; Energy efficiency; Good Technical Practice; Green building; Green design; Greenhouse gas; NA; Net Zero Energy ; New Buildings Institute (NBI); North America; Online tools; Residential

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