Zero-Energy Commercial Buildings on the Rise

Article excerpt

Ninety-nine commercial buildings either under construction or recently completed produce as much energy through on-site renewable resources as they use. And more highly efficient buildings are on the way.

This is according to a report from the New Buildings Institute (NBI), Vancouver, Washington, which examines the number, location, costs and design strategies of "zero-energy" commercial buildings and "zero-energy-capable" buildings--which are efficient enough to be zero-energy but lack on-site renewable generation.

"Lofty goals have been set for achieving zero-energy buildings by 2030," said Dave Hewitt, executive director of the New Buildings Institute. "The really good news is extremely-energy-efficient buildings are being demonstrated in a multitude of climates and across building types. This is certainly a good sign for the future of zero-energy buildings."

Commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all U.S. energy in 2010, said the White House in proposing its Better Buildings Initiative, which aims to make more financing available for commercial retrofits through the Small Business Administration (SBA). …