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Green Buildings: A ‘Net-Zero’ Energy Research Agenda

For Immediate Release: October 28, 2008

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Contact: Evelyn Brown
301-975-5661

Buildings in the United States account for more than 40 percent of the nation's total energy consumption, and that is just one of their impacts on the environment. In a major statement on “green” building technology, a new report from the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) sets out a broad agenda for research and development on technologies to decrease use of natural resources and improve indoor environments while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants from the building sector.

The report Federal R&D Agenda for Net-Zero Energy, High-Performance Green Buildings was produced by the NSTC's Buildings Technology Research and Development Subcommittee under the auspices of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President. It draws on the recommendations of 16 executive branch agencies along with the Architect of the Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) played a key role in developing the report's goals for measurement science methods, energy efficiency technologies, indoor environment quality and knowledge transfer.

The major goals outlined in the NSTC report include developing technologies, tools and practices that could significantly reduce the use of energy, water and other natural resources, promoting environmentally friendly products and practices, and reducing building material waste while meeting building performance design standards. The agenda calls for supporting these goals through the full spectrum of R&D activities, including use-inspired basic research, applied research, measurement science, development, demonstration and implementation. The report also addresses barriers to widespread acceptance and surveys policy options to change current buildings sector practices.

The report responds to provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to enhance federal R&D that could enable more efficient and higher performance residential and commercial buildings.

For more details, read “Government Issues R&D Agenda for ”Net-Zero“ Energy Green Buildings.” The report may be found at: www.bfrl.nist.gov/buildingtechnology/documents/FederalRDAgendaforNetZeroEnergyHighPerformanceGreenBuildings.pdf.