2020 Midwest Getting to Zero Buildings List

The 2020 Midwest Getting to Zero Buildings list tracks commercial and multifamily zero energy (ZE) building projects across thirteen states, including: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This inaugural Buildings List is published to show the status of ZE projects in the region and to increase public awareness, market acceptance, and adoption of ZE and other high performance design and construction practices, including Passive House. The 63 trailblazing projects listed here are helping move the needle toward a low energy and low-carbon future for the Midwest.

Source: New Buildings Institute


High Rise / Low Carbon: Office Deep Retrofit Profiles

This survey profiles eighteen projects that undertook a deep retrofit that resulted in often dramatic energy reduction. A complete facade reclad, a Midtown tenant repositioning, a Chicago upgrade and densification, a midwestern energy model calibration, a Japanese climate policy demonstration project, the comprehensive repositioning of NYC’s most iconic tower, and many more, this diverse set of retrofit projects was able to achieve an average of a 36% reduction in their site energy intensity, with several projects cutting their energy use in half.

As detailed in the report’s Technical Solutions Matrix, almost all of the projects included energy efficiency upgrades to their lighting systems and controls, favored for their cost effectiveness; and most found significant carbon reductions from recommissioning, upgrading, or completely replacing their cooling systems.

Source: Building Energy Exchange


Building Electrification Helps Illinois Achieve Climate Goals

Like much of the United States, Illinois is experiencing a rapidly evolving electricity landscape. Thanks to a combination of state policies and declining renewable energy costs, the electric grid is cleaner than ever, opening the door for policymakers to use this growing supply of clean energy to decarbonize stubborn sectors like buildings. A new analysis by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Elevate Energy finds that electrifying single-family homes in Illinois, and thus eliminating appliances powered by gas or propane, reduces carbon emissions today.


The emissions benefits of electrifying homes have improved over time. This analysis updates the findings of the 2018 RMI report The Economics of Electrifying Buildings with both changes in the Illinois energy landscape and an improved methodology.

Source: Rocky Mountain Institute & Elevate Energy (September 2020)

Going Electric: Retrofitting NYC’s Multifamily Buildings

A heating revolution is on the horizon for New York City buildings. To meet the city’s stringent building emissions law, and the longer-term target of an 80 percent carbon reduction by 2050, buildings will need to go electric. That transition means replacing fossil fuel boilers and furnaces, which contribute 40 percent of NYC’s carbon emissions, with highly efficient electric heat pumps.

Urban Green Council’s new report, Going Electric, identifies nine crucial steps to jumpstart electrification in the city’s large multifamily buildings—and also facilitate compliance with the City’s groundbreaking building emissions law (Local Law 97). 

Source: Urban Green Council


Financing High Performance: A Guide to Optimizing Energy Performance Across the Multifamily Building Lifecycle

Financing High-Performance: A Guide to Optimizing Energy Performance Across the Multifamily Building Lifecycle explores the practical benefits of designing, financing, building, and maintaining high-performance new construction, as well as the non-energy benefits that add value to the physical asset and to the lives of the tenants it serves.

CPC created this guide to be a valuable resource for the entire multifamily ecosystem (lenders, developers, property managers, housing finance agencies, insurers, appraisers) when confronted with high-performance buildings and new construction projects that do not conform to ‘conventional’ practices.

Source: Community Preservation Foundation