New database offers important lessons on exemplary energy performance

by Alexi Miller, project manager, New Buildings Institute

There is no better teacher than experience and now we have over 280 experiences to share through a new Getting to Zero Buildings Database. The database offers a dynamic way to find in-depth case studies about high performance and net zero energy (NZE) commercial buildings across North America and beyond. The searchable database includes project-specific information on measured and modeled energy performance, environmental characteristics, design process, finances and more. Members of design and construction teams are listed, as are sources for additional information. Filters allow users to easily identify buildings that have been verified by NBI as zero energy performers—currently 37 confirmed projects with 12-months of measured data–or are working toward that goal.

The Getting to Zero Buildings Database is built on the backbone of the Department of Energy’s High Performance Buildings Database and offers options to filter projects by various parameters such as location, climate zone, building type Energy Use Intensity (EUI), retrofit vs. new construction, and more. There are buildings represented from all climate zones across the U.S. and Canada (including 44 US states, DC and Puerto Rico) as well as selected international projects.

Zero Energy Buildings Nationally

This new resource contains information about buildings of many different shapes and sizes. Office buildings and education buildings are the most common, with 134 and 69 buildings respectively, but many other building types are present. Buildings of all sizes are represented, from small classrooms like the Bertschi School Science Wing all the way up to iconic skyscrapers like the Condé Nast Building at 4 Times Square. Selected district-level or community-wide solutions are included too; one good example is the Greensburg (Kansas) Sustainable Master Plan.

Have a project that’s not listed? Please submit for inclusion in the database through the Project Registry.