Report: Massachusetts Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Projects Have Increased 130 Percent in One Year

As Massachusetts leaders wrestle with a new opt-in building energy code advancing energy efficiency for new construction projects, a new report by Built Environment Plus (BE+) highlights exponential growth of Net Zero and Net Zero Ready building projects across the Commonwealth.

Continued data collection from the Massachusetts building community showed the total known square footage of Net Zero and Net Zero Ready projects in the Commonwealth has reached 16.5 million GSF, an increase of 130 percent in just one year.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see this transformation of the building sector really take shape,” says Meredith Elbaum, executive director of BE+. “Like it or not, Massachusetts is clearly ready for net zero building and no one is waiting for permission to make this shift happen. At this point, it’s a win-win-win for people, the planet, and the bottom-line.” 

Highlights from the updated report include:

  • The Net Zero and Net Zero Ready building stock exceeds 16.5 million square feet and is growing at an exponential rate in the Commonwealth today.
  • Of the 4 million GSF with reported cost data, 85 percent reported <1 percent construction cost premium to achieve Net Zero Ready.
  • Affordable housing, Multifamily housing, K-12 Schools, and Labs & Tech are leading the way, employing heat pumps and on-site renewables to reach their net zero targets.
  • Affordable Housing makes up 78 percent of all residential Net Zero and Net Zero Ready square footage, up from 54 percent in March 2021.
  • Net Zero Ready buildings are highly energy efficient: 90 percent are at least 35 percent more efficient than the current stretch code baseline (up from 82 percent in March, 2021 with 26 percent more projects reporting energy data). All rely on heat pumps as the primary source of heat. Net Zero buildings also procure on-site and/or off-site renewable energy to offset 100 percent of consumption on a net annual basis.
  • The list of companies working on these net zero projects has grown substantially in the past year, with a 135 percent increase to 313 companies working to make net zero buildings the standard in MA.

Learn more on the Road to Net Zero website.

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