Energy Dept. releases common definition of zero energy building

Provides guidelines for measurement and implementation

September 18, 2015 |

Clemson University's Lee III Hall is a zero net-energy building. Photo: Nicobro1/Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a common definition for a zero energy building: “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.”

The recently published A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings provides clarity across the industry, and provides important guidelines for measurement and implementation on building projects.

In collaboration with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), DOE initiated a process last year to work with a large, diverse set of building industry stakeholders to develop its common definition for what it means to be a zero energy building.

“By clarifying what it means to be a zero energy building, this definition will help more building owners determine if developing a zero energy building is right for them,” DOE says. “By creating this common definition for zero energy buildings, building owners and project teams can now better focus their effort on implementing strategies to improve the performance of their buildings.”

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