WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has selected 21 companies to receive $15 million as the first phase of awards for its Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative.

DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory will work with each awardee to design, build, commission, and operate at least one new energy-efficient prototype building. Compared to similar new commercial buildings that meet the minimum requirements of standards set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the new prototype buildings will consume only half as much energy. The two national labs will also work with each company to retrofit one existing building to consume 30 percent less energy than a retrofitted building that meets the minimum ASHRAE standards. The building projects will use both cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies and on-site renewable power generation to reduce the energy use of the buildings.

The awardees for this phase of the initiative include retailers Best Buy, JCPenney, John Deere, Macy’s, SuperValu, Target, Toyota, and Whole Foods Market; commercial real estate firms CB Richard Ellis, Forest City Enterprises, Hines, InterContinental Hotels Group, The Opus Group, ProLogis, Regency Centers, Ryan Companies US, Simon Property Group, Tishman Speyer, and The Westfield Group; and two financial institutions, the Bank of America and the PNC Financial Services Group. The intent is to identify approaches that can be replicated across the nation, while gaining insight into private-sector decision processes, business models, and financial drivers for achieving low-energy buildings.

Publication date:10/06/2008