New Report Profiles 63 Zero Energy-Verified Buildings in the Midwest

The demand for zero energy buildings across the country and in the Midwest is growing exponentially, according to a new report from the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition, Fresh Energy, and New Buildings Institute

The inaugural 2020 Midwest Getting to Zero Buildings List highlights 63 verified and emerging zero energy buildings in 13 Midwestern states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

"We know that in the Midwest, commercial zero emission buildings consume less than half the energy of conventional buildings," said Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, director of beneficial electrification at Fresh Energy. "These buildings demonstrate that moving away from fossil fuels in the Midwest building sector is not only possible, it's already happening."  

A "verified" zero energy building is defined as an ultra-low-energy building that consumes only as much energy as it produces with clean renewable energy. These projects must provide 12 months of measured energy use and renewable energy production data. An "emerging" zero energy building is one that has a goal of achieving zero energy but has yet to be completed or attain zero energy-level performance. 

"In the United States, where buildings are responsible for nearly 30% of the nation's carbon emissions, zero energy buildings will continue to play an important role as we transition to a low-carbon economy," says Ralph DiNola, CEO of New Buildings Institute.  

The projects highlighted in this report are helping move the needle toward a low-energy and low-carbon future for the Midwest. Beyond the obvious carbon impacts of these zero energy projects, the states and local jurisdictions that adopt these policies are also driving innovation, creating clean energy jobs, and improving public health by providing clean indoor air. 

Fresh Energy |

New Buildings Institute |

Volume: 2020 November/December