Zero Carbon Resource Library

Below you will find resources to help guide you through zero-carbon building practices. Click on the menu below to select your category of interest or simply scroll through the page to navigate.

Designing to Zero Carbon

Whether you are interested in designing a zero-carbon new construction or looking at examples of zero net energy (ZNE) buildings, the resources below will help you understand the process of ZNE design and construction.

Building Decarbonization Code

Written by New Buildings Institute Summary: BUILDING DECARBONIZATION CODE The Building Decarbonization Code is a groundbreaking tool aiming to deliver carbon-neutral performance. The Version 1.2…

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DECARBONIZATION ROADMAP GUIDE FOR SCHOOL BUILDING DECISION MAKERS

The Decarbonization Roadmap Guide is written for those interested in healthy, efficient, carbon neutral school design, construction and operation. It outlines achievable goals that result…

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Getting to Zero Database

Written by New Buildings Institute Summary: GETTING TO ZERO BUILDINGS DATABASE NBI works to identify, research, analyze, and promote commercial and multifamily buildings that are…

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Zero Code Resources

Resources published by Zero Code with the goal of providing readers with the tools to make their buildings more energy efficient, sustainable, and work towards…

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Zero Energy Commercial Building Targets

This report is a product of the Zero Cities Project (ZCP), a three-year effort supporting both cities and their most impacted communities. The goal of…

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Zero Energy Project Guide

ZE is possible for many buildings and this Getting to Zero: ZE Project Guide can help you on the path to zero energy. A zero…

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ZNE Case Studies

Below please find linked resources from New Buildings Institute and Getting to Zero Forum providing case studies of Zero Net Energy commercial buildings.

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Embodied Carbon

According to Carbon Leadership Forum, embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions arising from the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials. Embodied carbon is a significant percentage of global emissions and requires urgent action to address it. Below are resources to help understand and manage embodied carbon.

Embodied Carbon Policy Toolkit

Written by Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) Policy Primer Educational Series Policy is an essential step towards creating the scale of action required to rapidly reduce…

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Guidance on Embodied Carbon Disclosure

Environmental product declarations (EDPs) Written by CLF Policies targeting the reduction of carbon emissions associated with building products require the disclosure of embodied carbon data…

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Lifecycle GHG Impacts in Building Code

Written by the New Buildings Institute Building operations and construction are responsible for approximately 39% of humanity’s global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More than a…

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Material Resource Library

Written by Architecture 2030  The Carbon Smart Materials Palette® is a project of Architecture 2030. The Carbon Smart Materials Palette is a living resource that…

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Material Resource Library

Written by Mindful MATERIALS   Transformation Through Collaboration The Mindful MATERIALS vision: a future where sustainable materials are simple to identify, easy to find +…

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Reducing Embodied Carbon in Buildings

RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a…

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Building Performance Standards

A building performance standard is a policy that requires building owners to meet performance targets by actively improving their buildings over time, according to the EPA. Below are resources for building a framework for achieving carbon goals via BPS.

Building Performance Standards hub

Written by USDN Summary: A New Framework for Equitable Policies to Address Existing Buildings A new framework is available for local governments, community and industry…

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Building Performance Standards: A framework for equitable policies to address existing buildings

Written by USDN Introduction: Buildings are central to people’s lives and, with the right tools, can contribute to health and resiliency benefits, as well as…

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Building Performance Standards: Overview for State and Local Decision Makers

Written by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Summary: EPA’s Benchmarking and Building Performance Standards Policy Toolkit aims to inform and support state and local…

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Mandatory Building Performance Standards: A Key Policy for Achieving Climate Goals

Written by ACEEE Abstract: To meet long-term climate goals, substantial energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions must be obtained from existing buildings. Although programs…

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Policy and Process

See Zero Carbon Policy and Process resources below.

Guidance for Energy Efficiency in Rental properties

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) collaborated with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and Upright Consulting Services, a racial equity, economic inclusion,…

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Policy Primer Education Series

Policy Primer Educational Series Policy is an essential step towards creating the scale of action required to rapidly reduce embodied carbon in construction. The policy…

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Regulatory Solutions for Building Decarbonizations: Tools for comissions and other government agencies

Utilities, their regulators, and state policymakers together have an opportunity to transform American homes and businesses to run on clean energy, eliminating the fossil fuels…

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Building Electrification

See Zero Carbon Building Electrification resources below.

Building Electrification: Programs and Best Practices

Key Findings Programs to promote the electrification of space heating, water heating, and other end uses of fossil fuels in buildings are expanding across the…

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Gas Stoves: Health and Air Quality Impacts and Solutions

Over 40 years of evidence indicates that gas stoves, common in kitchens across the United States, can lead to unhealthy levels of indoor air pollution.…

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Energy Grid

See Zero Carbon Energy Grid resources below.

Demand Response Programs

KEY TAKEAWAYS • Despite multiple benefits for customers and grid operators, the number of utility integrated energy efficiency/demand response (EE/DR) programs is small. • Rapid…

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Fact sheet – Integration in Office Buildings Optimizing Building-Grid

Optimizing Building-Grid Integration in Office Buildings This factsheet recommends selected high-impact building design and operational strategies for office buildings. As we transition to a clean…

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Urban Demand Flexibility

Carbon Benefits of Demand Flexibility Demand flexibility shows significant potential to reduce carbon emissions throughout all stages of the grid transition. With the right signal…

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Climate Resources

See Zero Carbon Climate resources below.

Initiative for Climate Transparency

The City of Reno, Washoe County, and the State of Nevada will be working with the Reno-based carbon tracking company – Ledger8760 – to track energy…

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Building to Green Building Standards

Below please find resources towards building to Green Building Standards.

Energy Star

Energy Star Certification The first step to saving energy at your building is to benchmark — that is, to measure and compare your building’s energy…

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LEED

Link to downloadable file of LEED v4 for Building Design and Construction updated with addenda on July 25, 2019. View the rating system with tracked…

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Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge Standard is the core document that project teams use to guide a path toward certification. Download the pdf to learn more…

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Passive House

Passive House is the world‘s leading standard in energy efficient construction. The Passive House Standard stands for quality, comfort and energy efficiency. Passive Houses require…

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WELL

The WELL Building Standard™ version 2 (WELL v2™) is a vehicle for buildings and organizations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human…

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Zero Net Energy (ZNE)

Below please find linked resources and guides to achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) in regards to all building types. Additional ZNE resources and tailored guides…

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Local Resources

See Zero Carbon Local resources below.

Neighborhood Environmental Action Report: Health, Environment and Race in Grand Rapids

A wave of shock, apprehension, and anger went through the southeast Grand Rapids community in May 2016 after an air sample taken by the Michigan…

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