New Partnership Focuses On Zero Energy Buildings

As a first step, International Living Future Institute and New Buildings Institute will consolidate certified, verified, and emerging ZE building projects into a single dataset.

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and New Buildings Institute (NBI) recently announced a partnership aimed at streamlining and strengthening the tracking and certification of zero energy (ZE) buildings in order to drive broader market adoption, codification, and standardization of ZE technologies in everyday buildings.

“NBI and ILFI are aligned in our shared vision for a future where high performance, ultra-low energy buildings powered by renewable energy are the norm, not the exception,” said Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of ILFI. “Through each of our programs, we have demonstrated time and again that zero energy is achievable and scalable. Together, we can catalyze this movement.”

As a first step, NBI and ILFI will consolidate certified, verified, and emerging ZE building projects into a single, unified dataset with common categories. In addition, NBI and ILFI will also share a protocol for data collection, certification, and case studies. The partnership builds on the strengths of each organization, and the end result will be one system for tracking, registering, certifying, and evaluating the zero energy movement. The buildings industry — design teams, builders, owners, operators, and others — will also get the needed clarity on the standards for zero energy performance using data driven outcomes for validation.

Within this collaboration, the ILFI will continue as administrator of the Zero Energy Building Certification, while NBI will act as lead certification auditor as well as administrator of the building data. In addition, projects currently pursuing the Living Building Challenge will be added to the emerging ZE set, creating a broad cohort of leading edge projects worldwide.

“We have the opportunity to reimagine and remake the built environment by 2050,” said Ralph DiNola, CEO of NBI. “Zero energy buildings offer a pathway to that future. Today, nearly half of U.S. energy and 75% of electricity is consumed by buildings. By combining our efforts, we can dramatically reduce carbon emissions and provide deeper insight into what it takes to get to ZE and in doing so, we will rapidly grow the number of buildings striving for zero energy.”

Over the next several months, ILFI and NBI will work to further integrate the way they accept project data and communicate about the new certification and database protocols. Tracking and spotlighting success and lessons learned remains a key goal for both partners in order to fuel continued growth of projects in the residential, multifamily, and commercial sectors.