Regulations will vault Europe to the lead in net-zero buildings, while US focuses on BEMS

February 14, 2012 |
Dwight Perkins

Regulations will spur Europe to lead in zero energy buildings, while in North America, the near-term focus will be on building energy-management systems (BEMS). BEMS is being installed by owners of existing buildings who want to lower their energy costs, a move that has a fairly quick payback. A Pike Research study pegs the global BEMS market at about $1.9 billion globally in 2011. That’s expected to increase to $6 billion by 2020.

The initial investment to build a net-zero building can be much higher than installing BEMS, and the payback longer, so government regulations and incentives are needed to speed up net-zero development. By 2019, all new public buildings in the European Union will be required to come close to net-zero, and all building construction will have to meet the standard by 2021. The EU is still working on some of the standard’s fine print, and there is a lobby that wants the union to go all the way to net-zero.

Without those types of rules in the United States, owners will find it harder to justify the premium to build net-zero buildings, but installing BEMS, even in existing buildings, will soon be seen as a no-brainer.


NOTE: This information is the opinion of the author/blogger and not the official position of IAPMO.

Dwight Perkins | Codes and Standards

Dwight Perkins is the Senior Director of Field Operations for the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and orchestrates the code adoption efforts of 11 other IAPMO Field Service regions as well as directly working with the state code agencies in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon. Mr. Perkins has more than 35 years experience in the plumbing industry starting as an Apprentice in Alaska moving through the ranks to become a Journeyman Plumber and Business Manager of with UA Local 262. Prior to joining IAPMO, Perkins served in the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly while worked as Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. He is extremely familiar with the demands jurisdictions face on a daily basis and he is particularly well suited to address those needs. Mr. Perkins may be contacted at IAPMO at 503-982-1193 or email

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