Net-Zero Energy (NZE) buildings are generally understood as a simple concept – a building that annually consumes as much energy as it produces. These buildings minimize their greenhouse gas contributions, are cheaper to operate, provide healthier and more pleasant places to live, work and play, and will be increasingly important components of the District’s climate action plan. Clean Energy DC, the District’s detailed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, calls for all new construction to achieve net-zero energy beginning in 2026. In light of this important goal, DOEE is committed to supporting projects pursuing NZE ahead of the statutory requirement.
The 2017 DC Energy Conservation Code defines a net-zero energy building as “a highly energy-efficient building that produces on-site, or procures through the construction of new renewable energy generation, enough energy to meet or exceed the annual energy consumption of its operations”.
- DC Net-Zero Energy Project Guide
Guidance for projects pursuing NZE design and construction.
- DC Multifamily Guide
Guidance tailored to multifamily residential and mixed use projects pursuing NZE design and construction.
- DC Integrated Design Charrette Toolkit
Guidance and resources for planning and hosting an integrated design charrette for a project pursuing NZE design and construction.
- DMV NZE Coalition
This regional group of NZE experts from across the DC, MD and VA area compiles resources and organizes events to support the pursuit of NZE buildings across the region.
- Building Innovation Hub
The Hub is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting high-performance buildings and their owners, designers and builders.
- Clean Energy DC Plan
DC’s energy and climate action plan.
- 2017 DC Energy Conservation Code – Commercial Provisions, Appendix Z
Appendix Z is DC’s NZE compliance pathway to the 2017 DC Energy Conservation Code, and it includes definitions for NZE commercial and multifamily buildings in DC.
- ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides
The Achieving Zero Energy series provides guidance on NZE designs and construction for an expanding number of building types.
- New Buildings Institute’s NZE resources
National experts on NZE projects compile national resources, tools, case studies and manage a project list.
- International Living Future Institute’s Zero Energy certification program
The Zero Energy certification program offers third party certification of NZE projects.
- US Green Building Council’s LEED Zero certification program
The LEED Zero certification program offers third party verification of NZE and zero carbon projects.
- DOE Zero Energy Buildings
Incentives and Financing
- DCRA Net-Zero Energy Program
- DC SEU rebates and incentives for above code projects
- DC Green Bank
- DC Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
- DOEE Net-Zero Energy Design Assistance grant program
Offered in FY19 and FY20 with a one-time application period. Future funding has not been allocated at this time, but would be announced at Grants and Other Funding.
- 3450 Eads St NE - feasibility study, multifamily affordable housing
- 1 Hawaii Ave NE - feasibility study, multifamily affordable housing
- Case studies posted by the NZE Coalition
- Discovery Elementary – elementary school in Arlington, VA, completed 2018
- HITT Co|Lab - new construction office in Falls Church, VA, completed 2019
- American Geophysical Union Building – office renovation in Washington, DC, completed 2020
- Harrison Street Home – single family home, Washington, DC, completed 2016