Architecture 2030 developed the Zero Tool for building sector professionals, 2030 Challenge and 2030 Commitment adopters, 2030 District Network Members, and policymakers. The Zero Tool is used to compare a building’s design or an existing building’s fossil fuel energy use intensity (FF-EUI) with similar building types, understand how a building achieved its FF-EUI (via energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy, and/or green power purchases), and set FF-EUI targets.
Until recently, ENERGY STAR’s Target Finder has been the primary program for determining a building’s site energy use intensity (EUI) baseline and design target. However, ENERGY STAR is planning to change their baseline from the 2003 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS 2003) to CBECS 2012. The Zero Tool’s analysis is based on the CBECS 2003 dataset, an industry baseline which has been agreed upon by most building sector organizations including Architecture 2030, ASHRAE, AIA, and USGBC. The Zero Tool will allow those designing to the 2030 Challenge and other targets maintain pre-existing baselines in order to continue to measure their progress.
The Zero Tool also expands on Target Finder’s features, providing simple, clear, and graphic results for visualizing baselines, building design targets, and existing building performance.
A Zero Score allows properties and building codes to be compared based on their relative ‘percent from zero’, allowing for normalized property and code comparisons across diverse locations, space use types, and building characteristics. For more information about Zero Scores, see below.
Who Uses the Zero Tool?
The Zero Tool is designed to be used by building sector professionals, 2030 Challenge and 2030 Commitment adopters, 2030 District Network Members, and policymakers.
What is a Zero Score?
A Zero Score is a value assigned to a building, intended to help project teams understand the building’s energy performance and progress towards achieving Zero Net Carbon. A Zero Score is a relative performance metric, so it can be used to compare buildings across all locations, types, and sizes.
The baseline, a Zero Score of 100, represents a typical modern building with an energy consumption profile based on data from the 2003 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) or the 2001 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) and normalized by climate, weather, space type, building size, occupancy, and schedule. A Zero Score of 0 represents a Zero Net Carbon building. All values in between are plotted linearly. A building’s current or target Zero Score can be determined by dividing the building’s current or target fossil fuel energy use intensity (FF-EUI) by its baseline FF-EUI.
What is shown on the Zero Scale?
The Zero Scale is intended to help project teams better understand the requirements of a fossil fuel energy reduction target and visualize their relative progress towards achieving Zero Net Carbon. The scale shows Zero Score values ranging from 100 to zero, with three markers related to the project: BASELINE, TARGET and YOUR BUILDING.
The BASELINE marker lists the fossil fuel energy use intensity (FF-EUI) and Zero Score for a typical modern building that is normalized by climate, weather, space type, building size, occupancy, and schedule.
The TARGET marker lists the FF-EUI and Zero Score that the project team should attempt to achieve based on the target they entered into the Energy Reduction Target input box. TARGET values are calculated based on a linear scaling, or percent reduction, from the BASELINE values.
The YOUR BUILDING marker lists the FF-EUI and Zero Score for the building based on its actual energy consumption and generation. These values are calculated from inputs entered into the Annual Energy Consumption and Annual Energy Generation input boxes. If no values are entered, the YOUR BUILDING marker is not shown.
Who created the Zero Tool?
The Zero Tool was co-developed in 2016 by Architecture 2030 and Maalka.
Maalka is an open-data platform that automates your building benchmarking program so that you can focus on engaging building owners, managers, and tenants to reach energy-use and carbon reduction goals. Working directly with cities across the United States, Maalka has developed award-winning applications that integrate data collection, validation, analysis, visualization, reporting, and outreach. A truly end-to-end workflow to help you maximize the impact of your energy benchmarking program.
EPA PORTFOLIO MANAGER INTEGRATION
AUTOMATED DATA VALIDATION
OUTREACH & REPORTING
Architecture 2030 is a non-profit organization established in response to the climate change crisis by architect Edward Mazria in 2002. Architecture 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the global built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate crisis.
Architecture 2030 pursues two primary objectives:
- to achieve the dramatic reduction in global fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions of the built environment by changing the way cities, communities, infrastructure, and buildings, are operated, planned, designed, and constructed and;
- to advance the regional development of just and sustainable, resilient, carbon-neutral built environments that can manage the impacts of climate change, protect and enhance natural resources and wildlife habitats, provide clean air and water, generate local low-cost renewable energy, and advance more livable buildings and communities.
Architecture 2030 issued the 2030 Challenge to chart a path for the building sector towards every new building and major renovation being carbon-neutral by 2030. Today, the 2030 Challenge has been adopted and is being implemented by 70 percent of the top 20 architecture/engineering/planning firms in the U.S. and Architecture 2030 programs and initiatives are helping the built environment move towards zero carbon by 2050.
The Zero Tool - an Architecture 2030 project - was developed for building sector professionals to establish energy reduction baselines and targets, compare a building’s energy performance with similar buildings and to codes, and understand how a building achieved its current energy performance.