We're working with leading federal agencies to successfully execute on their deep retrofit programs.
Pathways to Zero
We aim to catalyze the market for superefficient and net-zero energy buildings and districts to save 50 million tons of carbon over five years.
What Is Pathways to Zero?
We are driving early movers in the buildings industry on a path to—or beyond—net-zero carbon by working with individual buildings, districts, cities and portfolios to cut energy use in half—and power them with renewable energy sources—saving energy and money, reducing environmental impact, increasing resilience, and better improving occupant health, comfort, and productivity.
Why It Matters
As the largest end-use energy sector, buildings like our offices, schools, and shopping centers can either exacerbate our climate problem, or be a foundational part of the solution. And, given that the average lifespan of a building is 30 years or more, a building’s performance has long-lasting impacts. Therefore, we must immediately address both our existing building stock and all new buildings and developments. The industry needs transformative models to design, build, and operate buildings in a much smarter way that scale rapidly from individual buildings to portfolios, districts, and cities.
We’re working with partners in the private sector and the federal government where we see the greatest opportunity to increase the speed and scale of transformation and catalyze replicable models for net-zero energy. We work with large portfolio owners and managers, district-scale developers, and leading federal agencies.
What We’re Doing
We're busting design, business-model, and contractual barriers to NZC in individual buildings and at the district level.
An industry coalition formed to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for transforming the building sector to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Browse tools and resources available to owners, designers, and service providers to drive deeper levels of savings in retrofit projects.
A premier resource for deep energy retrofits that shows how to build the case, and walks users through the process from idea to completion.
What We’ve Accomplished
With support from the Heinz Foundation, we showed how much whole-systems design can achieve at scale with a 180-acre net-zero energy district. The development saves money for developers, owners, and tenants and reduces overall energy by 451 billion Btu, saving more than 60,000 tons of carbon per year compared with a base-case design. RMI also continued to work with the U.S. General Services Administration, the nation's biggest landlord, to drive toward ambitious net-zero energy goals and more than double its energy savings in deep retrofit projects.
General Services Administration
Contract holder schedule #GS-21F-0130Y
Department of Energy
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
The Heinz Endowments
New Buildings Institute
Best Practices for Leasing Net-Zero Energy Buildings, 2018
Boulder Commons: Replicable NZE Solutions for Multitenant Buildings, 2018
An Integrative Business Model for Net-Zero Districts, 2016
Mapping a Pathway to Low-Carbon Campuses, 2017
Efficient Buildings to Combat Climate Change, Colorado Public Radio
How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value: A Guide for Investors, 2015
Deep Energy Retrofit Request for Proposal Guidelines, co-authored with AIA and Boma, 2015
How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value: A Guide for Owners-Occupants, 2014
Analyzing Energy-Efficiency Opportunities Across Building Portfolios, ACEEE, 2014