Research

Advanced Buildings is developed and managed by New Buildings Institute (NBI) to help design teams and owners create high performance buildings. The following NBI research reports have been identified as top supplemental resources to help raise understanding about best practices in energy-effective design and building operations. The following are available for download from the NBI website.


The most recent study, the 2014 Getting to Zero Status UpdateA look at the projects, policies and programs driving zero net energy performance in commercial buildings, examines the numbers, locations, types, ownership as well as policy and program drivers for ZNE. The number of ZNE verified and ZNE emerging (not yet verified) projects has more than doubled since we last reported in 2012 for a total of 160 buildings in North America. An additional 53 ultra-low energy buildings--those with efficiencies on par with ZNE buildings, but without sufficient onsite renewables to power the building--were identified as part of the study.


Deep Energy Savings in Existing Buildings: Summit Summary, 2/2012

New Buildings Institute and the National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted a Deep Energy Savings in Existing Buildings Summit. The event convened 80 national experts in critical aspects of energy efficiency. The summit was a working meeting aimed at defining the framework and tools needed to support much more aggressive levels of efficiency in the existing commercial building marketplace. This report summarizes the key discussion areas and recommendations.


Commercial Office Plug Load Savings and Assessment: Executive Summary, 12/2011
This study characterizes electricity consumption of plug load devices in two recently LEED‐certified buildings in California and explores opportunities for plug load energy savings in office buildings. Findings from this field research suggest low and no cost savings opportunities through software, hardware and behavioral changes and can help guide plug load energy reduction programs and research. The study was conducted as part of the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program. Read the full report.


Meta Report: A Search for Deep Energy Savings NEEA’s Study of Existing Building Energy Efficiency Renewals, 8/2011

The report provides an in-depth review of building characteristics, efficiency measures, motivations, money, measured energy performance, market and tenant outcomes, and barriers and innovations. Results from an initial search which found 50 buildings with 30% or more savings are also included.


Sensitivity Analysis: Comparing the Impact of Design, Operation, and Tenant Behavior on Building Energy Performance, 7/2011

This study compares the magnitude of energy impact that various design features, operations and tenant behaviors have on total building energy use. The findings of this study can help the building community begin to align their priorities with those building features and operational characteristics that have the most impact on building energy use.


Energy Performance of LEED® for New Construction Buildings, 3/2009

NBI conducted a study of the post-occupancy performance of LEED new construction buildings. Whole building energy use/square foot was benchmarked several ways and showed that on average the LEED buildings performed better than comparable non-LEED buildings. However, actual results vary widely, with a large number of buildings failing to meet objectives.


For more, visit NBI’s Resource Library