Share this newsletter with your networks:
July 2021
New Buildings Institute’s work is possible only with the support of our sponsors and donors. If NBI's guides, resources, events and advocacy work provide value to you, we invite you to consider donating. Thank you! 
Codes for Climate offers states and cities a path for building decarbonization
A new joint initiative from NBI and RMI helps states and cities advance building codes and policies to achieve a zero-carbon future.
As states and cities seek to fulfill their climate goals, it’s not clear that national code-making entities will keep pace with the efficiency stringency and building decarbonization measures that are necessary. Buildings currently represent 39% of the carbon emissions in the United States from operational and embodied sources. As such, solutions for climate change must target the built environment. Codes for Climate™ aims to deliver on those solutions with technical, policy, and implementation support for jurisdictions calling for Paris Agreement-aligned codes, standards, and policies to keep temperature rise under 1.5°-degrees Celsius.

“To reach the necessary emissions reductions by 2030, the industry needs a climate focused code now,” said Michael Furze, director of Washington State Energy Office. “Washington state has shown this work can be done, and I believe that now is the time to secure the health, economic, and resilience benefits of aligning building codes and standards with climate goals, and we support the new Codes for Climate initiative to do just that.”
New research can help building operators increase occupant comfort and energy efficiency

Leading in L.A. is a major research project responding to the critical need to greatly reduce energy use in California’s existing commercial buildings with non-disruptive and scalable solutions. The project was funded by the California Energy Commission and led by NBI working with prominent energy efficiency entities TRC Companies and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The four-year effort, which launched in 2017, included lab testing and field demonstrations at two Los Angeles sites of an integrated set of emerging commercial retrofit technologies, including novel automated interior shades and LED lighting with networked lighting controls (NLC), and minor HVAC retro-commissioning. The study showed occupant comfort and satisfaction was increased when they controlled their own lighting and shade operations and it increased energy efficiency.

A variety of resources that can help building owners and operators open buildings safely, increase occupant comfort and decrease energy use have been published as part of this project. Links to the publications, case studies, videos, and blogs associated with this project can be found on our website.
This article recently published by Engineering and Construction Management Magazine features Leading in L.A. technology.

by Kevin Carbonnier, NBI Project Manager
Luminaire level lighting controls (LLLC) technology enables greater control over a building’s lighting system, all the way down to the individual fixture level, resulting in optimized lighting for the space. One of the most promising features of the technology is that the fixture-level sensors and connectivity LLLC allow for integration with other building systems to achieve even greater energy cost savings. A recently completed research project led by NBI, Leading in L.A., sought to develop, test, and pilot a building retrofit package aimed at reducing total building annual energy consumption by 20% or more. The innovative package combines LEDs, advanced lighting controls, automated interior shades, and minor retro-commissioning of the heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation system that all work together to create an energy-efficient and comfortable space utilizing the LLLC system.
Watch the webinar: The Integrated Technologies for Energy-Efficient Retrofits (INTER) solution set combines solar powered automated shades, an LED lighting upgrade with wireless networked lighting controls (NLC), and light HVAC retro-commissioning to deliver over 20% whole building savings. This webinar will introduce the technologies, their benefits, and speak to the intersection of building energy use, climate goals, and upgrading and integrating building systems.
Don't miss your chance to participate in the premier event dedicated to zero energy and zero carbon buildings!
The 2021 Getting to Zero Forum is just a few months away and we are excited to invite you to join us as we bring together the world’s leading experts that are driving forward market-based solutions for decarbonizing the built environment. Register now to take advantage of Early Bird pricing before July 30.

As we put the finishing touches on the program, check out the schedule-at-a-glance, the current offering for workshops and tours, our venue at the Marriott Marquis in the heart of Times Square, and opportunities to explore the incredible sights and experiences of New York City.
White paper looks at the importance of activating K-12 schools in the climate fight

President Biden announced the United States’ new emissions reduction targets in time for a Leaders Summit on Climate in conjunction with Earth Day. This summit was an opportunity for President Biden to lead the world — not just with an ambitious target — but in a shift to a people-centric approach that features activating our public schools in the climate emergency.

This white paper, "Why K-12 Should Feature in America’s National Climate Strategy," by UndauntedK12, NBI, and the Coalition for Climate Education Policy offers a national perspective on the urgent role that our K-12 sector must play in our national climate strategy. In particular, state and municipal climate leaders are urged to formulate clean energy and climate plans that devise a strategy to activate their K-12 sectors including a call to action for superintendents and school boards. Read the related blog by Reilly Loveland, Project Manager, NBI and Sara Ross, Co-Founder, UndauntedK12.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) 2020 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard was released late last year with California reclaiming the number one spot from Massachusetts. This is based on five categories including utility and public benefits, transportation, building energy efficiency, state initiatives, and appliance standards, according to ACEEE. The building energy efficiency category evaluates state energy codes and their progress toward zero energy using the Zero Energy Performance Index, or zEPI. States make progress toward zero energy building performance by adopting more advanced energy codes, which may include the latest model energy codes or customized codes. But, building energy efficiency policies extend beyond the energy code stringency in the ACEEE State Scorecard and include code compliance and building energy use transparency. This blog from NBI looks at the progress the states have made, and specifically at top states leading the way.
The Northeast region has pulled ahead and has the best average zEPI score in both the commercial and residential sectors
The map shows the higher number of ZE Verified and Emerging buildings in regions with robust zero-energy utility programs and/or policies in place.
Whether partnering with jurisdictional efficiency programs or operating independently, utilities and public benefits administrators play a critical role in educating and supporting the building industry as communities strive to meet energy policy goals. Best practices from more than 40 years of running efficiency programs can be applied to new zero energy building programs. Yet, because such programs are at a very nascent stage, many administrators are seeking outside help, often from peers, as they navigate this new territory.
A new working group jointly facilitated by NBI and the ACEEE offers utility program administrators and others looking to create or expand upon zero energy building programs the opportunity to learn, share resources, and access expert advice. Launched in October 2020, the Zero Energy Programs Working Group is focused on commercial and multifamily buildings, but many participants have experience in the residential sector as well. The group is open to all who are interested in zero energy and zero energy-ready programs.
New Webinar
Solving for the 11% embodied carbon footprint in the built environment
Register today!

As clean energy policy and practice ratchet down operational carbon emissions in the built environment, embodied carbon becomes a larger share of buildings’ carbon footprint. In this webinar, participants will learn about primary sources of carbon embedded in manufacturing processes and approaches on low-carbon material selection, including cost analysis that shows how even deep energy and carbon retrofits can make financial sense. In addition, presenters will use case studies to share a method using lifecycle carbon as a means to intertwine embodied and operational carbon into a cumulative timeline. 1.25 AIA HSW CEU pending

Date & Time: Thursday, July 22, 2021 | 10:00 -11:15 AM PDT/ 1:00-2:15 PM EDT
NBI's Getting to Zero webinar series provides ongoing opportunities for knowledge sharing around actionable solutions to drive the highest levels of efficiency in buildings.

The electricity grid was built for one-way energy flows from large, centralized power plants to homes and workplaces, but new policies such as carbon emissions reduction targets are spurring high growth in renewable energy installations both large and small and are forcing grid operators to seek a new paradigm. We are now planning for a grid that can deliver energy to a location and accept energy generated at that location as well for a two-way transaction.

A new LEED pilot credit, developed under the GridOptimal initiative from NBI and USGBC, known as the GridOptimal Buildings Pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP), could empower designers, architects and engineers to lead this paradigm shift: a future in which grid-enabled buildings—those with renewable generation and/or controls that communicate with the grid—play a critical role in meeting 100% renewable electricity goals.
New technical guide for installers to help support transition to HPWHs

Heat pump water heaters are a proven technology that can be used as a component for all-electric homes and business. By switching to HPWH technology, installers will be first to meet present and future growing consumer demand. The Heat Pump Water Heater Technical Guide from the Advanced Water Heating Initiative, NBI, Southern California Edison, and Hot Water Solutions explains benefits of HPWHs, outlines important considerations for the installer, and includes checklists and frequently asked questions for quick reference.
NBI welcomes two new staff members

NBI has added two new staff members to the team including Erin Beddingfield, who comes to us from the U.S. Climate Alliance will serve as the Associate Director of Codes and Policy supporting the delivery of advanced codes and policy from her Washington DC office.
We also welcome Sarah Chaney to the Communications and Development team at NBI. Sarah will apply her nonprofit experience to support our stakeholder outreach, social media presence, and fundraising efforts.
Hear from market leaders about how innovation and market adoption of new ideas is most successful when proponents align behind a shared vision for change. This session answers questions around what those in the owner, architect, engineer, and contractor (OAEC) community can do today to meet local and national climate goals, and how to move toward all new buildings becoming net zero by 2030.
Fast Company names 2021 World Changing Ideas Award winners
NBI is honored to be on the BuildUp2030 team that was named a finalist in Fast Company's 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards in the Spaces, Places, and Cities category!
NBI In the News
Find these articles and more on our website.
The Time for a Net Zero Building Boom Is Now, Urban Land Magazine, 3/26/21
ICC Makes Controversial Change, Architectural Record, 3/18/21
Upcoming Partner Events:
Event schedules around the COVID-19 outbreak continue to change. We present here the most current information as of publication. Please continue to visit these partner websites for updates.
September 21-23, 2021 | San Diego

The Greenbuild International Conference + Expo, taking place September 21-23, 2021 in San Diego, CA, provides the opportunity for architects, designers, builders, sustainability professionals, consultants and governments to connect and learn. The event is also being hosted virtually so that audiences both domestic and international can join, learn and earn CEU's.
October 12-15, 2021 | Tarrytown, NY

PhiusCon (formerly NAPHC) is the leading passive building conference for climate-specific zero energy design, construction, and building science expertise. PhiusCon 2021 will have a distinct New York accent. In partnership with New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA), the conference will be held in Tarrytown, New York, close to fantastic passive projects in New York City as well as the Hudson Valley.
Follow New Buildings Institute's new Twitter handle @NewBldgsInst and Instagram account: