International Living Future Institute and New Buildings Institute Partner For Zero Energy

By Rachel Leber

SEATTLE — The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and the New Buildings Institute (NBI) are currently three months into a new project they are partnering on. The goal of the new partnership, which was announced in May, is to enable the tracking and certification of zero energy (ZE) buildings to be streamlined and improved in order to drive broader market adoption, codification and standardization of ZE technologies in everyday buildings.

The new partnership between ILFI and NBI is intended to build on each organization’s strengths, with an ultimate goal of figuring out a smooth system for tracking, registering, certifying and evaluating the zero energy movement that is currently moving full speed ahead. Additionally, it is the goal of this new partnership to gain more clarity on better standards for zero energy performance using data driven outcomes for validation, and to then share this information with design teams, builders, owners, operators and others who may benefit.

Currently, a few months into their partnership, ILFI and NBI are working on how to further integrate the way project data is received, and to communicate with each other about the new certification and database protocols. Within this new partnership, ILFI will continue as administrator of the Zero Energy Building Certification, with NBI serving as lead certification auditor and administrator of the building data. Their first step was to consolidate certified, verified and emerging ZE building projects into a single consistent dataset with common categories, and share a protocol for their data collection, certification and case studies.

Additionally, projects currently pursuing the Living Building Challenge will be added to this new ZE dataset, thus creating a collection of a broader subset of leading edge projects worldwide. Once these goals are mutually sorted out and determined, the partnership’s goals moving forward will be to track and highlight areas of success and also how to better improve. Big picture, the goal is to fuel continued growth of projects in the residential, multifamily and commercial sectors.

“We have the opportunity to reimagine and remake the built environment by 2050,” said Ralph DiNola, chief executive officer of NBI in a recent statement. “Zero energy buildings offer a pathway to that future. Today, nearly half of U.S. energy and 75 percent 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.”