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New NIBS-NBI Energy Tool to Help Cities Set Framework to Achieve Performance Goals

Now Available on the WBDG

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and New Buildings Institute (NBI) have developed a new tool, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, to help jurisdictions tackle energy use in buildings. The Life-Cycle Energy Performance Framework for Cities is now available on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® web portal.

Buildings are responsible for a significant portion — often the largest portion — of energy use or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within city borders. Yet, the cities setting measurable objectives to reduce energy use or GHG emissions are finding policies focused only on new construction are not enough to achieve such goals. They need a coordinated approach that also addresses the existing building stock.

NIBS and NBI convened a team of energy thought leaders to identify strategies cities could implement to address the energy use of buildings in a holistic fashion. Cities require comprehensive, long-term strategies that include policies, programs, administrative resources, tools and on-going funding sources. A few jurisdictions have some of these pieces in place. However, up until now, no single resource has described how these pieces relate to each other or how to implement them as a coherent whole. The Life-Cycle Energy Performance Framework for Cities does just that.

The web-based resource offers introduction and guidance tabs. Through a series of levels and drop downs, users can then customize their own path to implement life-cycle-based energy policies and print out tracking reports based on their responses. The top level, the organizational basis of the Framework, consists of four overarching categories: Leadership; Data, Analysis, and Applications; Mechanisms; and Ensuring Results. The categories are each broken into components with a brief description of the policy action, and examples and links for more information.

Each component has individual activities, structured as Policies, Actions, Resources and Tools, that the user can select based on the priorities and potential strategies of interest to the jurisdiction.

The user can use the drop-down menus associated with each individual element to designate the status of the element, including:

To access the tool, users must have an account on the WBDG, which will allow them to customize their Framework, add notes on their timeline, list items to track, generate reports and update content as their jurisdictions make progress.

Log in to start using the Life-Cycle Energy Performance Framework for Cities. Don’t have a free WBDG account? Create one now.

About NIBS

National Institute of Building Sciences brings together labor and consumer interests, government representatives, regulatory agencies, and members of the building industry to identify and resolve problems and potential problems around the construction of housing and commercial buildings. NIBS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization. It was established by Congress in 1974. For more information, visit or follow @bldgsciences on Twitter and Facebook.

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