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March 2020
A note on COVID-19: Our hearts go out to the people and communities that are being directly impacted by the Coronavirus. We have taken steps to support the safety of our staff, family members and community. As we all adjust to a new normal of remote work and substantial disruptions to our usual routines, and in light of rapidly changing global health conditions, NBI continues to work on solutions to make buildings better for people and the planet. NBI staff are all available, as usual, via email, phone and other conferencing apps. We look forward to joining our colleagues and friends at events when conditions improve. We are exploring new ways to engage with you and leveraging familiar platforms for communications during these unparalleled times. Please support your local communities at this time by heeding government and health care officials' calls for social distancing and protecting the vulnerable. Keep in touch and let us know if there is anything we can support you and your organization during this period.
Challenges made to the 2021 IECC following a stand out year for advanced energy codes
Better building codes mean lower energy bills, which results in lower costs for consumers and fewer carbon emissions for the planet. Sounds like a winning combination, right? That’s why we were delighted when the  initial results of voting on the next national model building energy code  indicated an estimated 10% improvement in energy efficiency, ensuring delivery on that combination of benefits. Unfortunately, opponents are now trying to undo that progress.

Challenges  raised on the initial  2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) voting results  announced in December follow more than a year of work to update the code that establishes the standard for building energy performance. If the opponents succeed in their challenges, it would undermine the will of public employees from across the country, who made clear with their votes that they view the code as a key tool in their fight against the climate crisis.

The challenges follow and exemplary year for code and policymaking among states and cities working to achieve climate action goals. Across the nation, from standards driving to meet New York’s ambitious carbon neutral goals to San José’s pursuit of all-electric buildings, leading jurisdictions are turning to energy codes as an effective tool for mitigating climate change. With  buildings accounting for 39% of carbon emissions in the United States, it’s clear that without addressing the built environment, climate action and energy policy goals are simply not achievable.
Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti leading the way to decarbonization with municipal buildings
Less than year after Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a  Green New Deal  for the city of Los Angeles, he is building on that leadership with a new  Executive Directive  that will help kick-start the decarbonization movement by accelerating the transformation of the city’s municipal buildings. The Directive is a prime example of how cities and other local governments can “lead by example” in climate action and decarbonize their own building portfolios.

New Buildings Institute has been providing deep technical assistance and support in the stakeholder engagement process to help the city meet its goals. The assistance provided by NBI and partners, Institute for Market Transformation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, is supported by the  American Cities Climate Challenge  and  C40 .
The embodied carbon conundrum: solving for all emission sources from the built environment
As strategies are making gains on driving down carbon emissions resulting from powering our homes and commercial buildings. Yet another source of carbon — embodied carbon — has gone largely unaddressed. Now through initiatives such as the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington and Architecture 2030, new attention is being paid to carbon emissions created during the manufacture, transport and construction of building materials (core and shell).

For its part, NBI recently curated a  resource hub  dedicated to providing guidance and tools that help building professionals address how much carbon is emitted through the making of materials such as concrete, steel, flat glass and types of insulation.
Best of Getting to Zero Forum Webinar:
A Call to Action for Zero Embodied Carbon
Getting to zero requires targeting both operating and embodied carbon. Buildings are responsible for 39% of global carbon emissions–28% attributed to operational carbon, and 11% to embodied emissions from materials and construction processes. As the industry responds to the challenge of eliminating operational carbon emissions from the energy consumption of buildings through design improvements, standards and regulations, embodied carbon becomes even more significant. This session will present a theory of change with case studies that aim to be zero embodied carbon discussing the feasibility of building density goals on embodied and operating carbon and explain the role that building reuse plays in achieving a zero carbon future. (1 AIA LU|HSW CEUs)

Thursday, April 2, 2020
10:00-11:00 AM PDT

Featured Speakers:
Thank you to our 2019 Getting to Zero Forum Sponsor Autodesk for sponsoring and participating in this webinar.
New Buildings Institute is happy to announce additions to staff and the Board of Directors
New Buildings Institute (NBI) is thrilled to be adding to the dynamic team of professionals who oversee our corporate structure and those doing the on-the-ground work of the organization. We welcome a new Associate Director of Codes and Policy to our staff, Kimberly Cheslak, who is a building energy codes leader and content matter expert. Also new at NBI, Project Manager, Maria Ellingson will be working on zero energy leadership and coalition building. The Board of Directors has added two new members, Mona Chandra, principal analyst from National Grid and Michael Colgrove, executive director of Energy Trust of Oregon. These professionals bring deep knowledge of energy efficiency programs and regional expertise to our organization.
Join us in New York City for the next Getting to Zero Forum
Official dates for the  2021 Getting to Zero Forum  are set and we are thrilled to bring this premier event on zero energy and zero carbon buildings to New York City, March 15-17, 2021. New Buildings Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute welcome NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, as a local host sponsor for the event which will focus on creating a new energy future for the built environment in both residential and commercial sectors.
New Getting to Zero Resource Hub helps with models, tools and guides
NBI has developed a new open-source collection of over 300 zero energy and zero carbon resources across six different topic areas: design, embodied carbon, local governments, policy, residential, and schools. These curated resources include feasibility, cost, and case studies, research, technical information, and examples of leading policies and programs that can help organizations of all types get on the path to zero energy and zero carbon buildings.
New guidance aims to increase benchmarking participation
Institute for Market Transformation’s (IMT) Putting Data to Work: Using Monthly Data From Benchmarking Programs is a new guide that aims to help efficiency programs increase their participation in benchmarking policies through targeted outreach, improving program design. NBI assisted IMT with FirstView diagnostic analysis that utilizes benchmarking data to show how building energy performance could be improved. FirstView uses data collected through Portfolio Manager to create an energy signature segmented by end uses of heating, cooling, electric and thermal base load. The signature is compared to similar building energy use profiles to determine anomalies in energy use and help provide an actionable list of prioritized improvements that make best use of budgets.
Intended for K-12 & higher ed schools administrators, operations managers, school board members, and other influencers, this training will go in depth on zero net carbon (ZNC) school retrofit strategies, lessons learned of districts and technical experts, and resources in designing, constructing, retrofitting, and operating school facilities on the path to zero. Participants will walk away with an understanding of the overall process, technical design features, and practices from others who are making ZNC a reality in schools. 1 AIA HSW CEU.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
10:00-11:00 AM PDT

This webinar is being produced in conjunction with the City of San Jose Environmental Services and Silicon Valley Energy Watch .
Like what you're learning from NBI? Become a supporter today
NBI’s work to transform our built environment is possible only with the financial support of people like you who want to see a zero energy/zero carbon future. We have launched a new, more convenient online option for setting up a recurring donation or making a one-time gift. NBI’s donors made some  big wins at NBI possible this year, including helping guide the City of San José to adopt a reach code and natural gas phase-out. NBI can, with an expanded base of support, spark similar innovations in many more cities nationwide.  Explore our new giving options and make your tax-deductible gift at the "Donate" buttom below.

Spread the word . Share this newsletter with others who may be interested learning more about NBI's work to accelerate the adoption of next practices in energy performance for the built environment. Our education, guidance and tools are helping to define "what's next" in the buildings landscape to create better, more resilient living and work spaces.
In the News
Reilly Loveland wins USGBC Green Schools Ambassador award
NBI Project Manager Reilly Loveland was recently awarded the USGBC Center for Green Schools Ambassador Award at the March Green Schools Conference and Expo held this year in NBI’s hometown, Portland. Ore. We asked Reilly some questions about the award, what the green schools movement means to her, and how every person can participate in greening our nation’s schools.
Getting to zero carbon buildings requires zero carbon codes
In this Op-ed from Jim Edelson published by FORESIGHT Climate and Energy, Jim lays out the need for cities to adopt zero energy and zero carbon building policies codes to achieve their zero carbon goals.
Growth of Zero Energy Buildings
Alexi Miller is the author of this column on the state of zero energy buildings for the publication Metal Architecture. Zero energy building growth is up 1000% from 60 in 2012 to over 650 by the end of 2019.
This Year’s Model: Key Standard Advances
Commercial Property Executive covered the 2021 IECC changes with our new Associate Director of Codes and Policy, Kim Cheslak and Director of Policy Eric Makela. 
Interview with R alph DiNola: Trying to Build a Zero Carbon Future
In this interview at GreenBuild 2019, Ralph DiNola, CEO, spoke about his green building goals, his desire to bring the building sector to zero carbon and zero energy.
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.
Virtual | Early May
Join us at LF20 and share what sustains your hope for our future.   By attending a Living Future conference, you are helping to shape the living future we all want. Add your voice today to make an impact and give hope to the current climate crisis.   Keynote speakers feature Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, indigenous climate activist, hip hop artist, and youth director of Earth Guardians, as well as Dr. Katharine Wilkinson from Project Drawdown.
Virtual | June 11-12
In response to the social disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus, the North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) has chosen to not cancel its conference.  Passive House 2020: Choose Your Future will move it online as a virtual conference on June 11-12 from 12 noon to 6 pm EST. Virtual project tours will follow on Saturday, June 13 and the conference workshops will be held in June and July.
Austin, TX | June 27–July 1
Join engineers, architects, designers, and professionals for eight tracks (plus one mini-track) and over 100 technical sessions (with PDHs). Presentations are facilitated by industry experts and association colleagues who have found solutions to many of the problems we encounter. Tracks taking place at the conference include:
  • Grid-Interactive Efficient Built Environment
  • Zero Energy Buildings and Communities: Opportunities and Challenges.
Raleigh, NC | August 24-26
Join us this fall for the Southeast’s largest-ever conference for building professionals of ALL types to learn, network, sell and meet new partners.  All building industry professionals are welcome. This fun, informative and inspiring conference and expo will include up to 1,400 attendees and 100 exhibitors from across the country.   Register using this code to get 10% off: NBI10
Novi, MI | August 25-26
Hosting over 250 leading architects, policymakers, contractors, system manufacturers, building owners and real estate executives, this NetZeroBuild Summit is an opportunity to find the expertise and secure suppliers to deliver sustainable, energy-efficient construction and renovation projects. The interactive conference program facilitates networking in the sustainable build community and showcases new, exciting projects.  Register using this code to get 50% off: NBIN50
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