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June 2022
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! 
NBI is celebrating 25 years of market transformation! 
“When NBI formed to accelerate the impact of energy codes, the climate crisis wasn’t part of mainstream conversation in the built environment. After 25 years of leadership towards a cleaner, healthier future, NBI leads the best thinking about how buildings play a central role in decarbonization. Through its analysis, policy advancement, thought leadership, and refusal to accept the status quo, the built environment is better for NBI’s work. Happy 25th anniversary, NBI – the next 25 years will be the most important in the history of buildings, and there’s no organization better prepared to show us the way.” --NBI Board President, Marge Anderson
See how NBI has grown over the years and learn about milestone and transformative dates in the history of our work with a new timeline.
Investments from state and federal leaders provide vital funding to create healthy schools, futureproof against climate impacts
A variety of funding programs from the U.S. federal and state governments have over $2 billion in funding earmarked for major improvements in school facilities, bolstering budgets that are often victim of regional funding crises. Released in April, NBI’s Decarbonization Roadmap Guide for School Building Decision Makers and accompanying resources, can help districts leverage these funding opportunities by developing a decarbonization roadmap to identify cost effective strategies and approaches to achieve net zero emissions across a portfolio of buildings. These materials were developed during the inaugural Getting to Zero Over Time in California Schools cohort, facilitated by NBI and the California Division of the State Architect’s (DSA) Sustainability Education & Outreach Program. The cohort was established in 2020 to support K-12 school districts with the development of their own roadmap to achieve zero net energy and zero carbon across their portfolio.
CIRRUS™ Low Carbon offers game-changing financing for commercial buildings to reduce carbon footprint
PACE Equity and NBI recently announced the first and only financing option for owners and developers to benefit from a differentiated cost of capital when they build a lower carbon building. This groundbreaking approach called CIRRUS™ Low Carbon encourages owners/developers to use C-PACE financing with lower rates when they build more efficient, lower carbon buildings, charting a practical and financially beneficial path to building decarbonization. Building owners/developers who use the CIRRUS Low Carbon Design Specification for Low Carbon Financing, for either new construction or renovation, receive a lower cost of capital, access to the PACE Equity Low Carbon Team, and designation as a CIRRUS Low Carbon Building verified by NBI.

“We believe that by introducing this innovative program, we can provide the financial incentive to advance low carbon projects,” said Beau Engman, president and founder of PACE Equity. “With CIRRUS, regular developers will be low carbon developers because they’ll receive a lower cost of capital and lower total cost of ownership for building that way,” he said. 
Future-ready buildings: increase asset value and reduce real estate investment risks by preparing for building performance standards now
National model energy codes that impact new construction are moving toward decarbonization, but existing buildings have long presented a greater challenge for regulation. With 5.9 million existing commercial buildings in the U.S., we know that solving this challenge is the key to unlock the potential for reaching our climate goals. Building performance standards (BPS) are emerging as a way for state and local governments to set requirements for existing buildings to achieve minimum levels of low-energy or climate-aligned performance. For building owners and operators, BPS means their properties will have to meet increasingly stringent performance targets for energy and carbon emissions, or risk being identified as poor performers. A future-ready capital planning approach, beginning with long-term performance goals in mind, is an opportunity for building owners to leverage investments and increase asset value while meeting forthcoming BPS. NBI is working with an increasing number of cities and states on BPS plans, making it possible for them to deliver on their climate and energy goals.
New study on electrification costs shows benefits to building owners and society
A new study from NBI analyzes the cost of the Building Decarbonization Code released last year. The research, Cost Study of the Building Decarbonization Code, found that a newly constructed single-family, all-electric prototype was $7,500-$8,200 cheaper to build than baseline code homes in the study area. Mixed-fuel building households are nominally more expensive. It also found only marginal additional first costs for property owners of the all-electric medium office building prototype, with most of the first costs of the Building Decarbonization Code attributed to electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Additionally, researchers determined that life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) for the single-family prototypes produced both economic and societal benefits. While limited in climate zone and building types, these are significant findings for jurisdictions considering adopting the Building Decarbonization Code and informs the potential impact on construction costs and opportunities for savings as they work to transition away from fossil fuel combustion in buildings.
New zero emissions buildings policy helps jurisdictions lead by example
With building construction and operations making up nearly 40% of U.S. carbon emissions, many jurisdictions have made reducing emissions from the built environment a top strategy for meeting climate action goals. NBI’s new Model Government Zero Emissions Buildings Policy helps with plug-and-play policy language for jurisdictions taking a “Lead by Example” approach to building decarbonization. This new tool aims to help accelerate construction and operation of zero emissions buildings—both for carbon and other greenhouse gases — by providing sample language that can be adapted to meet each jurisdiction’s needs.
Building our future workforce today
Over 100,000 construction industry workers will be needed to electrify all of California’s existing and new construction buildings according to a recent study from UCLA’s Luskin Center. But where will these workers come from and how will they get the training they need? This is a question many jurisdictions are grappling with as they consider and adopt electrification policies, providing the impetus for a new workforce development program. The program, called High-Efficiency Electrification Technology Training, works to help design and construction professionals understand and implement practices in electrification, space heating, and water heating technology application and installation to ensure states meet their goals for decarbonizing building stock. Launched by NBI in partnership with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Steven Winter Associates, and the International Code Council, the three-year project is funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Heat pump water heaters continue to show promise as a game
changing technology
Learn how the all-electric heat pump water heater is gaining ground in the U.S. market with a new progress report from the Advanced Water Heating Initiative and an upcoming webinar with homebuilders sharing their stories.

Progress Report: Creating a National Advanced Water Heating Movement  
The latest AWHI progress report highlights the steps that have been taken to realize 100% heat pump water heater (HPWH) market adoption by 2030. This past year saw significant progress with AWHI emerging from its West Coast roots to become a national initiative recognized and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. The growth was accompanied by programmatic expansion into the Midwest and an emerging partnership in the Northeast. The 2021-2022 report also profiles AWHI’s commercial, residential, and connectivity working groups and their progress and learnings as they push forward significant water heating initiatives across the nation.
Webinar: Heat Pump Water Heaters in the All Electric Home – Builders share their experience
July 12, 2022 | 12:00 – 1:00 pm PDT/ 3:00-4:00 pm EDT
Join this webinar profiling three American homebuilders who are installing heat pump water heaters in new homes and loving it. Discussion will highlight the experiences these builders have had with heat pump water heaters, the benefits and challenges of installing this important technology in new homes, and what lessons are we learning from the early adopters, both installers and consumers. This session is hosted by AWHI, EEBA and Electrify Now and will be moderated by NBI’s Joseph Wachunas.
2023 Getting to Zero Forum comes to the Midwest

Cohosts NBI and RMI announce the 2023 Getting to Zero Forum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 10-12, 2023. The Forum is the premiere event on net zero energy and building decarbonization which gathers a broad cross-section of leading experts to share best practice approaches to reducing energy demand and decarbonizing the built environment. The Call for Speakers will open in August with submissions due in September. Sign up below for updates on the Call for Speakers, program development and other educational opportunities.
New virtual educational opportunities! Seven Getting to Zero Education Modules now available
The Getting to Zero platform provides ongoing opportunities for knowledge sharing around actionable solutions. We are excited to offer a variety of education modules to help further understanding of crucial industry topics, including embodied carbon, grid integrated buildings, electrification, and green schools. Our education modules are also eligible for AIA continuing education units.
Two influential leaders added to NBI Board of Directors

NBI enthusiastically welcomes two influential leaders to its Board of Directors this year. Dr. Tina Jayaweera is a Power Planning Resources Manager at Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Susan Rochford is Vice President of Energy Efficiency, Sustainability and Public Policy for Legrand North America and Central America. These professionals bring broad experience and a wealth of knowledge to NBI’s governing body.

We had the opportunity to ask Tina and Susan some questions about their background, work priorities, industry challenges, and what interests them most about leading NBI.
Dr. Tina Jayaweera
Susan Rochford
NBI welcomes the 2022 Senior Fellows cohort
We are proud to announce eight top-level industry professionals as new NBI Senior Fellows. These individuals are experts in advanced energy efficiency and carbon emissions reducing policy, program implementation, research, and education, who help make the built environment better for people and our planet. We recognize NBI Senior Fellows as industry luminaries that have provided a significant contribution to energy efficiency and carbon reduction in the building sector through their leadership, dedication, and change-making work.
NBI recognized by Candid with Platinum Transparency rating
Candid’s Platinum Transparency is a verified status, previously run under the GuideStar brand, that implies best practices in nonprofit management and fiscal responsibility in all program avenues. NBI has achieved this highest level of the rating system for this inaugural year of awarding under Candid. See our profile
In Case you Missed It
Using Passive House to fast-track building electrification
This guest blog was written by Bronwyn Barry, CPHD, board member of the North American Passive House Network and NBI Senior Fellow. Read more
Unique partnerships across clean energy leaders and department of energy offices The organizations are working in concert under the U.S. Department of Energy’s EMPOWERED program.
NBI in the news
Find these articles and more on our website.
Where we'll be:
NBI staff are participating in numerous events at any given time, for the latest on topics and appearances, visit:

Director of Codes, Kim Cheslak will be presenting virtually at BOMA International Conference on June 25.

Director of Policy, Jim Edelson, will be presenting Can Energy Codes Find the Right Balance between Two Good Choices: Efficiency and Renewables? at the ASHRAE Annual Conference on Monday, June 27, 11:00 am ET

CEO, Ralph DiNola will be presenting at the EPRI Electrification 2022 International Conference pre-conference workshop on June 28.

Project Manager, Diana Burk will be presenting Establishing Efficiency Criteria for Controlled Horticulture Facilities at the ASHRAE Annual Conference on Wednesday, June 29, 9:45 am ET

Director of Codes, Kim Cheslak will present virtually at the 2022 National Energy Codes Conference, How Building Energy Codes Fit Your State’s or City’s Climate Plan, Wednesday, July 20, 3:20 pm ET
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