ALLOWING NATURAL LIGHT INTO YOUR BUILDING makes occupants more comfortable and energized while also reducing lighting
costs. Installing sensors into lighting fixtures that react to occupancy and daylight in the facility will help compound the savings. The
headquarters for software company Shipwire installed sensors in each lighting fixture to optimize lighting and energy performance.
In the update to its certification program, the ILFI looked
to simplify the process for certification by reducing costs and
documentation, focusing solely on energy performance in
facilities and only requiring a third-party review of energy
performance to receive certification.
For consideration, buildings need to be “fully occupied.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the building needs to be
filled 100% to capacity, but it needs to reach a capacity that
represents full functionality for the organization and allow for
possible occupant turnover.
The only real criteria for this certification is that the building must generate more energy than it uses over the course of
a year. For many buildings that have sought out certification,
it can take 6-12 months to get to zero energy performance if it
is already close. Those that miss the mark can then reconsider
things and find out what is wrong, explains Liljequist.
After receiving certification, there are no other required
checks or audits, which theoretically means buildings could
operate at net-zero levels and receive certification before
dropping off in efficiency. However, if you prepare well
enough and incorporate appropriate systems and materials
in your building, you are likely to maintain and even improve
ZERO ENERGY STATUS has become easier to achieve in recent
years because of the growing abundance of energy-efficient
building materials and systems. The Packard Foundation made its
headquarters zero energy because of the improvements in ROI.