White House and DOE Announce National Definition for a Zero Emissions Building to Standardize the Pursuit of Decarbonization Goals

GBI’s Green Globes Journey to Net Zero™ Program supports building owner compliance

PORTLAND, Ore., June 06, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The White House and the U.S. Department of Energy today announced the release of phase one of a National Definition for a Zero Emissions Building for the private sector. The announcement follows months of stakeholder input and expertise to establish a universal definition of a net zero building. It will serve as a guide for state and local governments and companies setting energy and carbon reduction targets to achieve global climate goals, focusing on three main areas in the Definition: the determination that a building is highly energy efficient; that the building is fully electrified; and that the building uses only clearly defined clean energy sources.

"We applaud the exceptional efforts of the White House and the Department of Energy in conducting outreach to all stakeholders as they worked to develop this definition," stated Vicki Worden, President & CEO of the Green Building Initiative. "As a national certification system, we are pleased to be able to incorporate the National Definition for a Zero Emissions Building into GBI’s Green Globes Journey to Net Zero Carbon Certification. GBI believes that by amplifying this Definition, we will support the private sector’s goals together with the goals of the federal government’s leased portfolio to collectively transform and significantly reduce the built environment's carbon footprint.”

For nearly two years, the Green Building Initiative (GBI) has worked with subject matter experts, state and local governments, and large corporate portfolios to develop and deliver the Green Globes Journey to Net Zero program (JNZ). GBI identified a market need for an assessment program that helps building owners track their progress towards net zero energy and carbon and seek customized guidance for improvement. These programs leverage rigorous carbon accounting principles to identify site EUI and CO2e percent reductions against a baseline. Green Globes Journey to Net Zero encourages all building owners, whether just getting started or having made significant progress, to evaluate and report on their journey, with an ultimate goal of guiding projects to a fully certified net zero energy and net zero carbon building or portfolio.

As an organization committed to collaboration and transparency, GBI conducted two public input periods prior to beginning the JNZ pilot program. The JNZ pilot program consisted of nearly 100MM square feet of commercial and multifamily residential real estate, representing several asset classes among most climate zones. GBI is opening a third public input period later this year.

GBI’s Green Globes Journey to Net Zero program is pleased to incorporate the newly finalized National Definition for a Zero Emissions Building into our certification for projects in the Green Globes Journey to Net Zero Carbon program. We believe that standardizing the definition of a zero emissions building will help projects more easily identify targets and work toward them. Additionally, we look forward to continuing to work on phase 2 of the Definition, as it moves into conversations about materials and refrigerants. The Green Globes Journey to Net Zero program also provides third-party assessment, identification, and recognition of compliance with state and local requirements and data from the 170 buildings in our net zero pilot program is helping us to support the development of state and local net zero policies and incentives.

To receive updates on GBI’s public comment period, contact input@thegbi.org.

About GBI

GBI is an international nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer dedicated to improving the built environment’s impact on climate and society. Founded in 2004 and celebrating our twentieth year of providing certification in the U.S. marketplace, the organization is the global provider of Green Globes®, Green Globes Journey to Net Zero™, and federal Guiding Principles Compliance building assessment and certification programs. GBI also issues professional credentials, including Green Globes Professional (GGP), Green Globes Emerging Professional (GGEP) and Guiding Principles Compliance Professional (GPCP). To learn more about opportunities to become involved with GBI, contact info@thegbi.org or visit the GBI website at www.thegbi.org

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Megan Baker
GBI Vice President of Engagement