Vision Set for Zero Energy Buildings at National Forum Opening

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Opening keynote speaker Ed Mazria of Architecture 2030 shares the keys to Getting to Zero.

Sessions for the 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum officially opened in Washington, D.C., today with keynote speaker Ed Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, calling for building and energy industry professionals to make zero energy buildings a broad-scale reality in the next few decades.

“Worldwide, between now and 2030, there will be growth of 900 billion square feet in new and renovated building construction. That represents 60% of today’s built environment or equivalent to building New York City every 35 days,” explained Mazria during his address underscoring why immediate action is urgently needed.

Over 250 delegates are gathered early this week to examine the growth in zero energy building projects across North America and strategize on the policies, programs and practices that will drive further momentum.

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New research, including the 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update, has demonstrated the feasibility of zero energy performance in many building types across most climates and documented market growth. The most recent count by NBI of verified and emerging projects is 29 and 152, respectively, for a total of 191—more than triple the count just three years ago. Verified projects have reported 12 months of energy use and renewable production data. Emerging projects are either under construction or do not yet have 12 months of data. Another 53 projects have been verified as having exemplary energy performance on par with zero energy buildings, but are not actively working to achieve zero energy status. (View the full list of projects at https://newbuildings.org/2015-list-zero-energy-buildings.

ZNE_infographic_2015update_FINALIndustry leaders are looking to grow those numbers exponentially over the next two decades and are developing resources for local and state governments, efficiency programs, owners and design teams that will help drive new projects. During his speech Mazria described one new program called the Urban Climate Initiative (UCI), a framework of incremental building sector actions that state and local governments can put in place to ensure 80 x 50 emissions reductions. That’s 80% CO2 emissions reduction in the built environment by the year 2050.

“The UCI combines codes, building intervention points and renewables to get both new and, importantly, existing buildings to net zero,” explained Mazria (read more at https://gettingtozeroforum.org/2015/01/22/urban-climate-initiative-to-offer-concrete-actions-for-state-and-local-governments/ ).

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