Bookmark and Share

Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Zero Energy Buildings

Zero Energy Buildings

Getting to Net-Zero Carbon in Multifamily Homes

Rocky Mountain Institute, Oct. 14, 2016, by Kelly Vaughn.

"Consumers wanting to undertake a deep energy retrofit of a home currently face a challenging process that involves multiple complex steps, as shown in the infographic [shows barriers and opportunities] below. For this reason, many give up on energy efficiency."

Grassroots And Grass: How Sacramento Became The Center Of Zero-Energy Housing

FastCoexist/Fast Company, Sept. 29, 2016, by Griffin Hagle.

"California’s unassuming state capital boasts more energy-neutral homes than any other city in America."

Net Positive Energy Buildings

ASHRAE Journal, Aug. 2016, by Dylan Connelly and Laura Fedoruk. (Article Summary only.)

"DPR Construction’s retrofitted San Francisco headquarters building achieved approximately 20% net positive energy its first year of operation using efficient systems including HVAC, electrical and PV. And, in late 2015, it was certified as a net zero energy building. The office building demonstrates the capabilities of integrated, innovative, and replicable design. And, it proves that sustainable buildings can reduce energy use and improve indoor environmental conditions, while being cost effective. It has become a hub for learning and collaborating on many sustainably minded design projects."

zEPI FAQ: Zero Energy Performance Index

New Buildings Institute, July 2016.

"The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) includes many progressive measures that will improve the energy performance of buildings. One important provision describes the Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), which provides a scale for measuring commercial building energy performance. zEPI represents a fundamental shift in measurement of building efficiency as it sets energy targets for actual energy consumption rather than using a predictive energy model of building energy performance to calculate a “percent better than code” metric. zEPI sets an energy use intensity (EUI) target for building type and is adjusted for climate. It is also the measure by which a building’s energy efficiency is calculated once operational and occupied based on measured energy use data."

How Net-Zero Buildings Impact the Grid

GreenBiz, Aug. 8, 2016, by Paul Lee.

"Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions (PDF). This means that low emission buildings must be part of our clean sustainable future. Initiatives such as Architecture 2030 and California’s Title 24 are not only helping to pave the way by creating a general framework for sustainable buildings but also pushing the boundary with Net Zero Buildings (NZBs) or Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) that aim to almost completely offset a building’s adverse climate change impacts. These buildings will produce just as much energy as they consume and will be commonplace by 2020 and 2030."

The State of Technology: Outcome-Based Energy Codes and zEPI

Zondits, July 2016, by Matt Lockwood.

"This month, our State of Technology series focuses on energy codes. Let’s talk about two innovations in development over the last decade in energy codes: outcome-based energy codes and zEPI [Zero Energy Performance Index]. Both started as dreams of energy code wonks to address the problems with existing code and benchmarking solutions, and both have been gaining prominence and momentum in the energy codes world."

The Careful Journey of Bryce Canyon National Park to Zero Net Energy

Solar Today, Spring 2016, by Adam Plesniak.

"With the National Parks Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016, humility and recognition of stewardship were of primary importance when leaders at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah decided they wanted to take their Visitors Center and main operational offices to zero net energy (ZNE) before the 2016 Centennial celebrations. With over 1.5 million visitors to the park every year, they wanted a solar power solution designed to educate, inspire and above all, be the gold standard for ecologically responsible solar."

ASHRAE Research Outlines Measures to Reach Toward Net Zero Energy

Engineered Systems, Apr. 26, 2016.

"Thirty specific energy savings measures across all building types and climate zones resulted in cutting energy use by nearly half, according to results of newly approved research funded by ASHRAE."

Buildings Can Be Much Greener...

California Building News, Mar/Apr. 2016.  -- jump to page 7.

" it stands now, only a very tiny fraction of California building produce all the energy they need to operate, though some have proven they can and attempts by others to attain the magical zero net energy (ZNE) status are growing, because of both governmental, market and cultural pressures. Whether a substantial number ever achieve ZNE use is less important than the efforts to reach that lofty goal."

Onsite Power: What's It Mean to Get to Zero

Net Zero Buildings, Mar. 2016, by Chuck Ross. -- Jump to page 24.

"Net zero building has been a topic of conversation between architects and engineers for more than a decade, but there remains a significant lack of consensus over what 'net zero' actually means when it comes to the relationship between onsite energy consumption and generation."
Pages: Prev123NextReturn Top


The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at