A common definition for zero energy buildings

Type: White Paper
Categories: Commercial, Demand Management, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Commercial, Distributed Generation
Date Published: 9/1/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Primary Topic: Energy Efficiency

This document from the U.S. Department of Energy describes a commonly agreed upon definition of zero energy buildings with supporting nomenclature and measurement guidelines to facilitate their use, and sets a bar for denoting a zero energy buildings that can be relevant into the future.

In 2014, the DOE's Building Technologies Office contracted with the National Institute of Building Sciences to establish definitions, associated nomenclature and measurement guidelines for zero energy buildings, with the goal of achieving widespread adoption and use by the building industry. The Institute prepared this report to present the results of that work, and the DOE has published the results for use by government and industry to support a robust market for zero energy buildings.

There are a number of long-term advantages of moving toward zero energy buildings, including lower environmental impacts, lower operating and maintenance costs, better resiliency to power outages and natural disasters and improved energy security. 

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