New list of verified and emerging zero energy projects in North America shows growth as count approaches 200 commercial structures
WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 3, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum officially opened here today with keynote speaker Ed Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, calling for building and energy industry professionals to make zero energy buildings a broad-scale reality in the next few decades.
“Worldwide, between now and 2030, there will be growth of 900 billion square feet in new and renovated building construction. That represents 60% of today’s built environment or equivalent to building New York City every 35 days,” explained Mazria during his address underscoring why immediate action is urgently needed.
Over 250 delegates are gathered this week to examine the growth in zero energy building projects across North America and strategize on the policies, programs and practices that will drive further momentum. The event is being co-hosted by New Buildings Institute (NBI), the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Zero energy buildings are extremely efficient structures that consume only as much energy as can be produced onsite through clean, renewable resources. Buildings contribute nearly 40% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States and are being targeted as a critical solution to curbing climate impacts from carbon.
New research has demonstrated the feasibility of zero energy performance in many building types across most climates and documented market growth. The most recent count by NBI of verified and emerging projects is 29 and 152, respectively, for a total of 191—more than triple the count just three years ago. Verified projects have reported 12 months of energy use and renewable production data. Emerging projects are either under construction or do not yet have 12 months of data. Another 53 projects have been verified as having exemplary energy performance on par with zero energy buildings, but are not actively working to achieve zero energy status. (View the full list of projects at http://newbuildings.org/2015-list-zero-energy-buildings.
Industry leaders are looking to grow those numbers exponentially over the next two decades and are developing resources for local and state governments, efficiency programs, owners and design teams that will help drive new projects. During his speech Mazria described one new program called the Urban Climate Initiative (UCI), a framework of incremental building sector actions that state and local governments can put in place to ensure 80 x 50 emissions reductions. That’s 80% CO2 emissions reduction in the built environment by the year 2050.
“The UCI combines codes, building intervention points and renewables to get both new and, importantly, existing buildings to net zero,” explained Mazria (read more at http://gettingtozeroforum.org/2015/01/22/urban-climate-initiative-to-offer-concrete-actions-for-state-and-local-governments/ ).
Other Forum sessions feature effective policies at work in leading states, design and technology must-haves for successful projects, and real-world experiences with managing the cost and assessing the value of zero energy. A post-Forum workshop on Feb. 3 will focus on the value of sustainability and zero energy for the commercial real estate market drawing from RMI’s recently published practice guide, “How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value for Owner Occupants.”
About New Buildings Institute (NBI)
NBI is a driving force in advancing energy efficiency research, practices and code stringency. Most notably, the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was based largely on NBI’s Core Performance Guide–a prescriptive approach to high performance commercial buildings. The organization also advocates for measuring building energy performance in occupancy rather than relying on modeled predictions and has become a clearinghouse on zero-net energy policies and practices. www.newbuildings.org
About the National Association of State Energy Officials ()
NASEO is the only national nonprofit association for the governor-designated energy officials from each of the 56 states and territories. Formed by the states in 1986, NASEO facilitates peer learning among state energy officials, serves as a resource for and about state energy offices, and advocates the interests of the state energy offices to Congress and federal agencies. www.naseo.org
About Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
Since 1982, RMI has advanced market-based solutions that transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous and secure future. An independent, nonprofit think-and-do tank, RMI engages with businesses, communities and institutions to accelerate and scale replicable solutions that drive the cost-effective shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. www.rmi.org