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DOE Creates Definition for Net Zero Buildings

Sept. 21, 2015

Simplified definition to standardize industry terminology.

In an effort to help encourage sustainable design and eliminate market confusion, the DOE and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) have created a universal definition for “net zero energy” buildings.

A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings defines facilities that meet the criteria as “an energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy.”

In addition to facilities, the definition can also apply to campuses, building portfolios, and even entire communities. According to the DOE, net zero buildings, which have doubled in number from 2012 to 2014 offer a variety of long-term advantages for FMs and owners including lower O&M costs, better resilience to natural disasters and power failures, and better energy security.   

Wondering if your facility could achieve net zero? This guide can help you create a plan to make it a reality and check out these tips to reduce water usage as well.

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