zEPI: charting the path to net zero

Cleveland, Ohio
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Blog post by Helen Sanders, Ph.D

The New Buildings Institute (NBI) has recently asserted that 2019 is the year of the energy code, stating that “there will be a convergence of activities around energy codes that will make or break our ability to reduce the amount of carbon emitted by buildings in the next most crucial decade.” We’ll take a deeper dive into what’s behind this statement next month, but first we need to understand the concept of “zEPI,” an abbreviation for Zero Energy Performance Index.

zEPI is a concept that has been championed by the NBI (and created by Charles Eley) as a way of providing a clearer view of the pathway to net zero energy buildings and to achieving the Architecture 2030 goals. It is unique in that it references performance to a static baseline – the 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which provides an assessment of the energy use intensity (EUI) of buildings in the year 2000.

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