Zero Net Energy Buildings:
Throughout 2019, NCBPA garnered strong support from members, advocates and partners on establishing a pathway for North Carolina to require zero net energy new construction homes and buildings by 2042, a goal that we pushed to include in the 2019 NC Energy Efficiency Roadmap and, partially, in the 2019 NC Clean Energy Plan. Late in 2019, NCBPA began working with the nation’s leading nonprofit organization working on zero net energy buildings, the New Buildings Institute, and also signed partnership agreements with PHIUS and USGBC. Along with other partners, NCBPA and these organizations will offer educational events, create new resources and advocate for policy and code changes that will slowly place North Carolina on a pathway to requiring zero net energy new homes and buildings by 2042.
Activities Underway in 2020:
NCBPA is already working on a variety of elements that will support this pathway, including:
- Incorporating renewable energy, energy storage and electric vehicle “ready” requirements in the state’s next 2024 codes for commercial and residential buildings.
- Requiring that all new buildings receive an inspection, verification or rating by a qualified code official or approved third party that ensures functional energy code compliance to the current state code.
- Ensuring that all code stakeholders – Code Council members, code officials and other state employees that play a role in code – understand and act on increasing the energy efficiency of North Carolina’s codes.
- Advocating for the state’s current residential building code cycle to be changed from six years back to three years (commercial is currently three years) and aligning our state code with increasingly stringent national and international standards.
- Incorporating the use of Passive House design and construction principles and certifications into North Carolina’s residential and commercial building code requirements.
- Requiring energy ratings on all new residential units and full building commissioning for all commercial buildings.
- Standardizing how energy information is collected, reported and made visible to the market beyond energy consumption alone. Efforts to incorporate “the total cost of ownership” and measure-level life cycle costs into new and existing resources will help align the private buildings market with state goals to reduce carbon emissions, increase adoption of electric vehicles and decrease energy and water usage by 40% and 30% respectively through Governor Cooper’s Executive Order #80.
- Promoting net zero energy projects from member companies to help educate and inform consumers, architects, builders and industry stakeholders.
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