New Buildings Institute (NBI) maintains data on thousands of low-energy projects across the United States and Canada and a recent blog post offers some analysis of the 580 certified, verified and emerging projects. That figure is a 10-fold increase since NBI started tracking buildings in 2012.
The official count in the Getting to Zero Buildings Database is confirmed by reported plans to invest in zero energy buildings over the next 10 years, according to Johnson Controls’ 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator Study. Clay Nesler, vice president of Global Sustainability and Industry Initiatives at Johnson Controls, presented the findings during a webinar explaining that of their customers surveyed, “61% of U.S. respondents are very or extremely likely to have one or more facilities that are nearly zero, net zero, or positive energy or carbon status within the next 10 years.”
“That is an amazingly high number considering if we had asked this question only four years ago, we probably would have been in the single digits,” Nesler said. “Qualitatively if we look at our data over the past five years, the trend toward net zero energy and carbon buildings is advancing twice as fast as we saw with green building certification. It is in fact, the key trend driving investment,” he said.
In addition to the Zero Energy Project List, NBI released a new online tool that offers users access to information about the ZE buildings on the list and shows where they’re located on a map. The dynamic database allows searches on location, size and building type, and generates charts and graphics conveying the appropriate information.
The group defines Zero Energy as ultra-low energy projects that consume only as much power as can be generated onsite by clean, renewable resources. However, this definition is evolving to consider multiple buildings in a campus or neighborhood that use a larger, central solar array.