Share this newsletter with your networks:
March 2021
New ICC framework sidelines local government participation
in energy code development

The International Code Council (ICC) announced last week a new framework that changes the essential nature of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) development process from a model energy code to a standard. The change, described in vague terms in the ICC material, is impactful because it reduces the opportunity for cities and states to shape future versions of the IECC, even though they must subsequently adopt and implement it.

NBI strongly opposes this outcome, which staff testified against during an ICC Board of Directors meeting on this proposed change in January. NBI has been working with jurisdictions and partners to support development and advancement of model energy codes for over 20 years, including participating in the IECC development process.
“We have seen the make-up of committees have a detrimental impact ... in previous code cycles when industry interests fight efficiency improvements from inside black-box processes.” 
–Kim Cheslak, NBI Director of Codes
New building electrification technology roadmap shows pathways to achieve zero carbon
Energy use in California’s buildings is a leading source of climate-changing emissions, and homes and commercial buildings must be electrified for the state to meet its public health and climate goals, according to experts. Making this transformational shift will require a mix of incentives, innovation, and education about all-electric technologies. A new study released by NBI in partnership with the Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC) lays the groundwork for the important work ahead.

The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap (BETR) is a first-of-its-kind study focused on accelerating adoption of highly efficient electric technologies that displace fossil fuel technologies. The study takes a comprehensive look at electrification technology options across various residential and commercial building types. The authors characterize more than three dozen technologies on readiness, product availability, ease of application, market awareness, and their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The study highlights major roadblocks facing these technologies and provides recommendations on how to accelerate market adoption.
New Building Decarbonization Code serves as overlay to 2021 IECC

The Building Decarbonization Code, released by NBI in February, is a groundbreaking tool aiming to deliver carbon neutral performance. The new code language, which serves as an overlay to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), is designed to help states and cities working to mitigate carbon resulting from energy use in the built environment, which accounts for 39% of U.S. emissions. It also offers market insight into rules that will determine how new buildings are designed and constructed in the future in order to curb the worst impacts of climate change.

The overlay, developed with Natural Resources Defense Council, is focused on codes for new construction with the potential of adding code language for existing buildings in a future version. While not an all-electric code, the language does prioritize efficient electric equipment and is designed to be flexible. Sections cover All-Electric and Mixed-Fuel options for residential and commercial projects.

A webinar, broadcast in January, goes into detail on the code and its applications in local jurisdictions.
Catch up on the activities of the Advanced Water Heating Initiative with a new report
The Advanced Water Heating Initiative (AWHI) Playbook and 2020 Progress Report summarizes the activities of AWHI through the end of 2020. The West Coast AWHI has made tremendous progress on commercializing heat pump water heater technologies since it launched two years ago. Heat pump water heaters currently represent a small market share, but have tremendous potential for energy savings—up to four times better efficiency than conventional products. They also offer opportunities for improving building-grid integration.

This report documents 2020 progress organized in the three AWHI strategic focus areas, four working groups, and is followed by the Initiative’s 2021 priorities and plans for national expansion. It also provides details on advancing specific technologies and serves as a playbook for policy, programs, and market actors across the U.S.
Welcome to NBI’s new board members and Senior Fellows
NBI’s Board of Directors and Senior Fellows have expanded to include additional industry leaders with a broad array of experiences and viewpoints to these advising bodies.

We are proud to introduce our new board members elected at the December 2020 meeting: 
NBI staff led our efforts this
year to reach out to emerging, as well as established, voices
in the building efficiency community. 
-NBI Board President, David Goldstein
From Left to Right: Bing Liu, Senior Manager of Codes, Standards, and New Construction at Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; Kimi Narita, Senior Strategic Advisor, American Cities Climate Challenge at Natural Resources Defense Council; Corrine Van Hook Turner, Director of Climate Innovation at Movement Strategy Center; Kathryn Wright, Program Director, Building Energy at Urban Sustainability Directors Network
Along with the new board members, NBI welcomes nine top-level industry thought leaders as new Senior Fellows. NBI Senior Fellows are industry luminaries that have provided significant contributions to energy efficiency and carbon reduction through their leadership, dedication, and groundbreaking work. Learn more about our new Board members and Fellows at the links below.
Recent new hires expand NBI's technical expertise

NBI welcomes three new staff members with engineering and building science credentials including Smita Gupta, Director for Building Innovation (based in Sacramento, California); Diana Burk, Project Manager (based in Atlanta, Georgia), and Mischa Egolf, Project Analyst (based in Portland, Oregon). 
Five questions with Smita Gupta
As NBI's new Director for Building Innovation, Smita Gupta will lead initiatives on building electrification, advanced water heating, and grid interaction of buildings. We had a chance to sit down with her to learn more about her experiences over two decades in the energy and buildings industries.
Key Tools on the Path to Zero: Stretch Codes and new
2021 IECC Appendices

Adopting stretch energy codes that go beyond the base, or required minimum code, is proving to be an effective way to achieve energy savings and reduce carbon emission from the built environment. With the new Biden administration supporting a 100% renewable electric grid by 2035, stretch codes are poised to play an even more important role in helping cites, states, and the nation achieve carbon neutrality. Widespread adoption of new construction stretch codes by cities is one opportunity and an important first step to realizing our nation’s climate objectives.

With the inclusion of two appendices, the Zero Energy Home Appendix and the Zero Code Renewable Energy Appendix, in the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), jurisdications now have the ability to adopt code language for new construction that ensures buildings reach zero energy and zero carbon emissions, or close to it.
The Zero Energy Home Appendix, which was developed by NBI in partnership with Natural Resources Defence Council, requires energy efficiency first to lower energy demand, with newly constructed homes achieving an Energy Rating Index (ERI) score ranging from 43 to 47 depending on the local climate zone. Testing to ensure the ERI is met before adding renewable generation minimizes the cost of solar installations and maximizes savings on monthly energy bills. Besides the cost savings, zero energy building performance improves comfort from better insulation, lighting and heating, and cooling systems.
School Districts Scale Their Zero Energy Efforts: Peer-to-Peer Information Sharing is Key to Success

Champions leading the zero carbon schools movement across the country include design teams, superintendents, individual teachers, elected officials, and students. While numerous free resources exist, including our Getting to Zero in Schools Resource Hub, there is no replacement for real-world experience. In California, NBI partnered with the Division of the State Architect (DSA) to launch the Getting to Zero in California School Districts cohort , which is designed to assist K-12 school districts with the development of strategic, customized roadmaps for achieving zero net energy and zero carbon goals across their portfolios. Participation in this cohort ensures school districts are ready to comply with rapidly advancing legislation, codes, and policy in California that require full decarbonization of the built environment by 2045.

One of the participants in this first cohort of schools, Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) recently adopted a resolution pledging to achieve deep energy and carbon emission reductions in its school buildings. The LTUSD Energy and Carbon Goals Resolution, which passed unanimously at the January school board meeting, is the first step in a long-term approach to energy management that aims to cut energy use in half and help the district meet the State’s goal to achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2045.
Join us for a virtual Getting to Zero Buildings Case Study Jam

Prime examples of net zero buildings are found across the country and total over 700 verified and emerging projects, according to NBI tracking. This webinar will feature some of the best buildings to date with a Case Study Jam format that allows sharing across multiple projects. Join presenters as they take you on a tour of innovative technical solutions, strategies for successful stakeholder engagement, and more in their quest to achieve zero. From a commercial kitchen in Pennsylvania to a senior living high-rise in Oregon, these case studies cover a variety of climate zones and building types. This 75-minute session will allow ample time for discussion with attendees. 1 AIA HSW CEU

Date & Time: Thursday, March 25, 2021 | 10:00 -11:15 AM PDT/ 1:00-2:15 PM EDT
Got Zero Energy and Carbon Neutral Resources? Join us and share during Net Zero Buildings Week!
During Net Zero Buildings Week (March 29-April 2) leading industry organizations will showcase and promote the benefits of net zero buildings. We are calling on all building industry professionals and efficiency advocates to join in and collectively present zero energy and carbon neutral resources, professional practices, case studies, etc. to illustrate the opportunities for #NetZeroNow. 

This campaign will spotlight net zero building practices to critical audiences including building owners, operators, architects, engineers, construction firms, consultants and others designing, building, owning and operating new construction and renovation projects. Particularly professionals that have limited experience with net zero concepts. 
If your organization is interested in participating, email Connie Umphress, NBI Communications Manager. We'll connect you with our share materials to help you engage in this effort.
NBI strategic plan summary outlines work from 2021 through 2023
NBI has recently worked on a three-year strategic plan to solidify the programmatic and operational objectives needed to transform energy use in the built environment and avoid the worst effects of climate change. We have outlined the plan in a brief summary for our stakeholders and supporters.
How to Prepare for Building Performance Standards: An Interview with NBI
NBI's Director of Codes Kim Cheslak and Director of Policy Jim Edelson took some time to talk about Building Performance Standards (BPS) and a recent ASHRAE paper on BPS with Zack Mast from Slipstream.
Over the last two years, NBI assisted the City and County of Denver with the development of its NZE Plan, which puts the jurisdiction on a path to 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This kind of plan, once considered a “moonshot” goal, according to the American Cities Climate Challenge Climate Action Playbook, is now proven to be within reach for cities.
NBI In the News
Find these articles and more on our website.
Committing to Net Zero Commercial Property Executive Podcast, 12/17/20
Upcoming Webinars and Partner Events:
Event schedules around the COVID-19 outbreak continue to change. We present here the most current information as of publication. Please continue to visit these partner websites for updates.
Virtual | March 10-11, 17-18
The 2021 Hot Water Forum Virtual will be held over four days with more than 15 breakout sessions on cutting-edge technologies, system design, programs, and policies. New to 2021 will be the opportunity to watch demonstrations on the latest products, technology, and system designs.

NBI's Amruta Khanolkar and Smita Gupta will present in sessions: The Hot Water Battery--Emerging HPWH Technologies and Grid Connectivity, and Carrots and Sticks in Hot Water--The Heat Pump Water Heater Policy & Program Rodeo.
Virtual | May 20
The Forum is designed for public and private sector professionals engaged in facility project design, electric vehicle and electric vehicle infrastructure, fleet management, decarbonization and execution of projects in their respective areas.
NBI's Reilly Loveland will present ABC's of Getting to Carbon Neutral in Schools.
Palm Springs, CA | June 28-30
The Annual Conference on School Facilities is CASH’s largest annual event featuring more than 70 concurrent education sessions, three general sessions, trade show with 200+ exhibitors and the NextGen Experience simulated classroom space.

NBI's Reilly Loveland will present: School Design Strategies Having the Highest Impact on Student Achievement.
Find us on these social networks: