Winter 2017


Design Resources
California State Lottery Santa Fe Springs Office

Anticipating a state executive order mandating that all new buildings and major renovations  for state facilities be zero net energy (ZNE) starting in 2025, the California State Lottery saw the Santa Fe Springs office upgrade as an opportunity to test various ZNE design choices that would help them meet the upcoming rules. Deep energy retrofit strategies for the 12,840-square-foot warehouse include passive strategies such as daylighting and an energy-efficient envelope, as well as a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system. The project was completed in September 2015 and is the first of 11 lottery locations targeted for similar renovations.
Read more about the lottery building renovation.
Santa Monica pier

California jurisdictions prepare for statewide goals with new policies
A number of California communities have stepped forward recently with adoption of sustainability or energy policies that impact zero net building requirements. These go beyond individual projects which are growing in the public sector and now number 87 buildings that are either ZNE verified or emerging. From Hayward to Santa Monica there's no doubt that leading jurisdictions with favorable policies are driving momentum. 

Five countries begin planning for Net Zero Carbon certification
The Green Building Council of Australia, the Canada Green Building Council, the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), the India Green Building Council and the U.S. Green Building Council announced  this fall their intentions to recognize and reward net zero carbon buildings. Each country's unique plan could be either stand-alone zero net carbon (ZNC) certification or a zero net designation within existing certification schemes. The announcement was made during the second "Buildings Day," which took place at COP22 in Morocco in October.

Environmental Innovation Center

California ZNE buildings count tops 150 and sees an increase in the number of public projects
Public buildings are dominating the California ZNE Buildings Watchlist with increasing local, state and federal projects pursing zero net energy performance, according to  the new Winter 2016 edition. New Buildings Institute (NBI) produces this semiannual  report for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) which documents verified and emerging ZNE buildings and includes trends in California locations, building types and sizes.
Download the Winter 2016 California Watchlist

Case studies released on schools, offices, and other building types
K-12 schools and community colleges have been identified as an early market for zero net energy and five new case studies recently released demonstrate why.  On behalf of the California investor-owned utilities and the Proposition 39 Zero Net Energy School Retrofit Pilot, NBI has published five new case studies on ZNE and low-energy education buildings that illustrate innovative design and planning strategies, describe the energy performance and efficiency components of the building, and highlight challenges, successes and lessons learned. This set of new resources includes: 
In addition, Pacific Gas & Electric released Volume 2 of its  Zero Net Energy Case Study Buildings.

New award recognizes leadership in California's ZNE schools 
Congratulations are in order for nine innovative school districts, iconic projects and leading-edge designers and firms that were honored in November with a ZNE School Leadership Award. These were notably the first non-residential zero net energy (ZNE) awards in the country and were presented during the California Green Schools and Community Colleges Summit in Pasadena.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the  American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) have announced the winners of the sixth annual  Architecture at Zero competition for zero net energy (ZNE) building design. The competition awarded six student and professional winners with a total of $25,000 in prizes.

For the sixth year of the competition, contestants designed ZNE student housing at the San Francisco State University campus. Sixty applicants created plans for a building that would produce as much clean energy as is used during a year through energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation such as rooftop solar.

On behalf of the California Public Utilities Commission, NBI and partners hosted three statewide ZNE workshops this fall to support local governments and other stakeholders on zero net energy buildings. The events, which took place in Berkeley, San Jose and Santa Monica offered an opportunity for California's early adopters to stimulate collaboration, highlight leading buildings and policies, and foster knowledge sharing in order to meet California ZNE 2020 and 2030 goals.

Upcoming webinar: Trends in Zero Net Energy Buildings 
New Buildings Institute (NBI) recently completed its annual list of ZNE verified and emerging buildings and is hosting a free webinar on Jan. 31 at 10 am Pacific to share the trends identified through the study of these model projects. Join NBI Research Director Cathy Higgins as well as several industry experts, spotlighting their experiences in zero net energy. 

This is the first of several upcoming webinar events featuring highlights from the 2016 Getting to Zero National Forum held last October in Denver. These sessions are intended to share the critical perspectives and inquiries of leading designers, real estate professionals, owners, policy makers, operators and others on the policies, programs, design practices, cost considerations and operational aspects that are driving successful ZNE projects across the United States. 

The Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, is growing, and fast. By next summer, the company is hoping to have 3.3 million square feet of its 5.8 million-square-foot battery manufacturing factory completed. That's the equivalent of about 107 football fields. Energy efficiency is a critical goal of the plant, which eventually aims to be a ZNE factory with a vast solar array that will span the entire roof.  Read more
First Net Zero Energy Apartments operating in Los Angeles
Tenants of the first-ever zero net energy apartments in Los Angeles know that their energy use is coming from clean, renewable energy. Hanover's Olympic & Olive project is a 250-unit, mid-rise project which includes 20 "super green" units each with 10 solar panels hardwired to individual meters and a solar energy production credit directly on their utility bills.  Read more

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