By Cherie Ching, Advocacy Fellow

June 14, 2015


As USGBC MA forges ahead with one of our Chapter Advocacy Priorities, Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB), we are excited to see NZEB elements at more conferences. The “Net Zero Zone” is an exhibition space where booths are fully powered by a live on-site microgrid, a hybrid use of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power for generation, storage and distribution. It is a first of its kind in a major trade show and will return to the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on November 18-19, 2015 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The Net Zero Zone will highlight the efficiency, reliability and resiliency of hybrid microgrids, bringing alternative power generation to life and its ability to function with or without connecting to the local utility grid.


Successful NZEB efforts have also been taking place within Massachusetts: The Pathways to Zero Grant Program, an initiative by Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). “These projects represent a range of locations, strategies, and building types: from science labs in Fall River to new homes in Lenox. Projects are utilizing energy best practices such as proper building orientations, well-insulated and air-tight building envelopes, solar PV, and heat pumps.” The Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, which is categorized as a commercial and institutional project was granted $330,000. The building will conform to net zero energy building standards that use renewable resources to produce the amount of energy they consume on-site over a year. The projected completion date is summer of 2016, complete with natural ventilation, roof-mounted solar panels, rainwater collection barrels, and composting toilets to achieve net zero energy and net zero water status, in addition to achieving the conditions of the Living Building Challenge.

Other projects include Northampton EcoVillage Duplex Homes and Laurel Street both by Transformations Inc. and are categorized as Residential Buildings. These project grants total to $156,000.


Greenbuild, owned and operated by Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction & Real Estate and presented by USGBC, is the nation’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building design and construction.  See article


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