The District of Columbia has more green buildings than other large U.S. cities on a per capita basis, according to the 2012 Green Building Report. D.C.’s policies have made it a leader in highly efficient building construction and renovation.
New goals will likely prompt the District to raise the efficiency bar even higher. To help guide policies for a new era of green design, D.C.’s Department of the Environment commissioned a study to assess costs and benefits associated with net zero energy, net zero water, and Living Buildings.
The Net Zero and Living Building Challenge Financial Study: A Cost Comparison Report for Buildings in the District of Columbia was conducted by International Living Future Institute, New Buildings Institute, and Skanska. The team’s analysis identified incremental cost premiums for deep energy and water conservation as well as for photovoltaic and water reuse systems that would bring a project to net zero.
The cost premium for energy efficiency was 1%-12% depending on building type, and rose to 5%-19% for net zero energy. “If the owner has sufficient tax appetite, tax credits and renewable energy credits make the return on investment approximately 30%, whereas the return on investment for energy efficiency alone was in the range of 5-12%,” the report says.
Read the full report at: http://newbuildings.org/net-zero-living-building-challenge-financial-study
Codes and Standards | Jun 6, 2023
California’s new power grid modernization plan furthers ambitious climate goals
California’s new $7.3 billion grid modernization plan is a crucial step in furthering its ambitious climate goals. The board of governors for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the state’s grid operator, recently approved a strategy to build thousands of miles of new high-voltage transmission lines.
Mixed-Use | Jun 6, 2023
Public-private partnerships crucial to central business district revitalization
Central Business Districts are under pressure to keep themselves relevant as they face competition from new, vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods emerging across the world’s largest cities.
Multifamily Housing | Jun 6, 2023
Minnesota expected to adopt building code that would cut energy use by 80%
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is expected to soon sign a bill that would change the state’s commercial building code so that new structures would use 80% less energy when compared to a 2004 baseline standard. The legislation aims for full implementation of the new code by 2036.
Codes and Standards | Jun 2, 2023
Supreme Court drastically reduces wetland areas impacted by Clean Water Act
A recent Supreme Court decision that substantially narrowed the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate millions of acres of wetlands is expected to open more land for development. More than half of the nation’s wetlands could lose protection under the Clean Water Act, according to environmentalists and legal analysts.
Multifamily Housing | May 30, 2023
Boston’s new stretch code requires new multifamily structures to meet Passive House building requirements
Phius certifications are expected to become more common as states and cities boost green building standards. The City of Boston recently adopted Massachusetts’s so-called opt-in building code, a set of sustainability standards that goes beyond the standard state code.
Contractors | May 26, 2023
Enhanced use of data is crucial for improving construction job site safety
Executives with major construction companies say new digital tools are allowing them to use data more effectively to reduce serious safety incidents and improve job site safety.
Affordable Housing | May 17, 2023
Affordable housing advocates push for community-owned homes over investment properties
Panelists participating in a recent webinar hosted by the Urban Institute discussed various actions that could help alleviate the nation’s affordable housing crisis. Among the possible remedies: inclusionary zoning policies, various reforms to increase local affordable housing stock, and fees on new development to offset the impact on public infrastructure.
Sponsored | Building Enclosure Systems | May 16, 2023
4 steps to a better building enclosure
Dividing the outside environment from the interior, the building enclosure is one of the most important parts of the structure. The enclosure not only defines the building’s aesthetic, but also protects occupants from the elements and facilitates a comfortable, controlled climate. With dozens of components comprising the exterior assemblies, from foundation to cladding to roof, figuring out which concerns to address first can be daunting.
Multifamily Housing | May 16, 2023
Legislators aim to make office-to-housing conversions easier
Lawmakers around the country are looking for ways to spur conversions of office space to residential use.cSuch projects come with challenges such as inadequate plumbing, not enough exterior-facing windows, and footprints that don’t easily lend themselves to residential use. These conditions raise the cost for developers.
BIM and Information Technology | May 8, 2023
BIM Council seeks public comments on BIM Standard-US Version 4
The Building Information Management (BIM) Council is seeking public comment on an updated national BIM standard. NBIMS-US V4 has been three years in the making and is scheduled to be released this fall.