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NBI Report: The Future is Now for Zero Net Energy Buildings

Vancouver, WA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014

Growth in numbers, locations, types and sizes all mark progress on the state of commercial zero net energy (ZNE) buildings-–ultra-efficient buildings that generate as much power from onsite renewable energy sources as they consume in a year, according to a report released today from New Buildings Institute (NBI). Of buildings surveyed across North America, the report finds the number of buildings achieving or pursuing ZNE have more than doubled since the last study was released in 2012.

In addition to the 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update: A review of the projects, policies and programs driving zero net energy commercial buildings, NBI released today an interactive map showing the geographic spread, square footage and other characteristics of all buildings verified by NBI to have achieved zero net energy performance. NBI is a national nonprofit working to improve the energy performance of commercial buildings. ZNE verification of buildings is based on review of one-year of measured energy data including building energy consumption and renewable energy production, or other valid documentation from a third-party entity.

“While this remains a relatively small set of buildings, the growth and diversity are important indicators for what we should expect in the coming years,” said Ralph DiNola, executive director of New Buildings Institute. “The future is now for ZNE buildings and we are seeing this play out in the shift from a handful of projects primarily in the public domain, to private companies such as Walgreens and TD Bank embarking on ZNE building projects and using those experiences to inform future development.”

NBI tracks the development of ZNE buildings in North America throughout the year. At report press time, NBI had identified and verified 33 ZNE projects including 32 buildings and one district (a group of buildings), an additional 127 projects that were working toward ZNE but did not have a full year of energy use yet to verify net-zero, and 53 buildings that had verified high levels of efficiency comparable to zero net energy performance, but without sufficient onsite renewable generation, for a grand total of 213 buildings.

This is more than double the number of buildings included in NBI’s inaugural ZNE report, which identified 21 verified and 39 emerging ZNE buildings, plus 39 ultra-efficient structures for a total of 99 buildings.

“We are proud to support NBI on this important ZNE study,” said David Terry, Executive Director of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). “We continue to see states across the country integrating cost-effective ZNE strategies into long-term policy, program, and energy planning goals. The aspirational nature of ZNE buildings captures the attention and imagination of everyday citizens, business leaders, and government officials especially in sectors such as schools and public buildings.” NASEO and NBI work together to support policy leaders looking to zero net energy as a strategy for meeting carbon reduction goals.

Key report findings include:

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