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Title: Establishing a Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings: Time to Move the Market

Abstract

To change the current paradigm from buildings being consumers of energy to producers of energy requires a common language to facilitate market transformation. Common definitions help create market movement by sharing concepts across market actors. While the term 'zero energy buildings' has been in the marketplace for over 20 years, no common definition had been established. US DOE, last year, embarked on a process to evaluate current definitions and solicit industry input to formulate a common definition and nomenclature for zero energy buildings. This definition uses commonly available site measurements and national conversion factors to define zero energy buildings on a source energy basis for a variety of boundary conditions including building, portfolio, campus, and community. Issues addressed include multiple fuel types, cogeneration, and renewable energy certificates. This paper describes the process used to arrive at the definition, looks at methods of calculating site to source energy conversions, and how boundary decisions affect a robust and stable definition that can be used to direct programs and policies for many years to come. This stability is critical to move building investments towards buildings that produce as much energy as they consume.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1324392
Report Number(s):
NREL/CP-5500-67080
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the 2016 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, 21-26 August 2016, Pacific Grove, California
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; building energy consumption; zero energy buildings

Citation Formats

Peterson, Kent, Torcellini, Paul, Taylor, Cody, and Grant, Roger. Establishing a Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings: Time to Move the Market. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Peterson, Kent, Torcellini, Paul, Taylor, Cody, & Grant, Roger. Establishing a Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings: Time to Move the Market. United States.
Peterson, Kent, Torcellini, Paul, Taylor, Cody, and Grant, Roger. 2016. "Establishing a Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings: Time to Move the Market". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1324392,
title = {Establishing a Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings: Time to Move the Market},
author = {Peterson, Kent and Torcellini, Paul and Taylor, Cody and Grant, Roger},
abstractNote = {To change the current paradigm from buildings being consumers of energy to producers of energy requires a common language to facilitate market transformation. Common definitions help create market movement by sharing concepts across market actors. While the term 'zero energy buildings' has been in the marketplace for over 20 years, no common definition had been established. US DOE, last year, embarked on a process to evaluate current definitions and solicit industry input to formulate a common definition and nomenclature for zero energy buildings. This definition uses commonly available site measurements and national conversion factors to define zero energy buildings on a source energy basis for a variety of boundary conditions including building, portfolio, campus, and community. Issues addressed include multiple fuel types, cogeneration, and renewable energy certificates. This paper describes the process used to arrive at the definition, looks at methods of calculating site to source energy conversions, and how boundary decisions affect a robust and stable definition that can be used to direct programs and policies for many years to come. This stability is critical to move building investments towards buildings that produce as much energy as they consume.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • A net zero-energy building (ZEB) is a residential or commercial building with greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy needs can be supplied with renewable technologies. Despite the excitement over the phrase ''zero energy'', we lack a common definition, or even a common understanding, of what it means. In this paper, we use a sample of current generation low-energy buildings to explore the concept of zero energy: what it means, why a clear and measurable definition is needed, and how we have progressed toward the ZEB goal.
  • No abstract prepared.
  • This procedure provides source energy factors and emission factors to calculate the source (primary) energy and emissions from a building's annual site energy consumption. This report provides the energy and emission factors to calculate the source energy and emissions for electricity and fuels delivered to a facility and combustion of fuels at a facility. The factors for electricity are broken down by fuel type and presented for the continental United States, three grid interconnections, and each state. The electricity fuel and emission factors are adjusted for the electricity and the useful thermal output generated by combined heat and power (CHP)more » plants larger than one megawatt. The energy and emissions from extracting, processing, and transporting the fuels, also known as the precombustion effects, are included.« less
  • Ongoing work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicates that net-zero energy building (NZEB) status is both achievable and repeatable today. This paper presents a definition framework for classifying NZEBs and a real-life example that demonstrates how a large-scale office building can cost-effectively achieve net-zero energy.
  • Until recently, large-scale, cost-effective net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs) were thought to lie decades in the future. However, ongoing work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) indicates that NZEB status is both achievable and repeatable today. This paper presents a definition framework for classifying NZEBs and a real-life example that demonstrates how a large-scale office building can cost-effectively achieve net-zero energy. The vision of NZEBs is compelling. In theory, these highly energy-efficient buildings will produce, during a typical year, enough renewable energy to offset the energy they consume from the grid. The NREL NZEB definition framework classifies NZEBs according tomore » the criteria being used to judge net-zero status and the way renewable energy is supplied to achieve that status. We use the new U.S. Department of Energy/NREL 220,000-ft{sub 2} Research Support Facilities (RSF) building to illustrate why a clear picture of NZEB definitions is important and how the framework provides a methodology for creating a cost-effective NZEB. The RSF, scheduled to open in June 2010, includes contractual commitments to deliver a Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design (LEED) Platinum Rating, an energy use intensity of 25 kBtu/ft{sub 2} (half that of a typical LEED Platinum office building), and net-zero energy status. We will discuss the analysis method and cost tradeoffs that were performed throughout the design and build phases to meet these commitments and maintain construction costs at $259/ft{sub 2}. We will discuss ways to achieve large-scale, replicable NZEB performance. Many passive and renewable energy strategies are utilized, including full daylighting, high-performance lighting, natural ventilation through operable windows, thermal mass, transpired solar collectors, radiant heating and cooling, and workstation configurations allow for maximum daylighting.« less