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We provide expert knowledge and guidance to advance and enforce energy codes.

Local and state government control of energy codes has the potential to be one of the largest drivers of energy savings in the coming decade. Our research team uses deep knowledge of building design and codes to provide guidance for these initiatives. We focus on code advancement from a few angles:

Codes and standards programs

Local governments are interested in moving energy codes both further and faster. In order to do so, significant technical support is needed to determine and justify these accelerated pathways. We laid some technical foundation for these efforts. We also investigated the ability of utility programs, and their associated funding, to be a primary technical support source for ongoing efforts. Our research includes:

Code compliance

Without code compliance, there’s no energy impact. The compliance challenge increases as codes become more stringent. Slipstream investigates how code compliance and enforcement work in different jurisdictions. We provide recommendations for policies, approaches, and programs to support the building design and construction community to reach the highest rate of compliance possible. Our work includes:

Milwaukee skyline
The U.S. DOE has contracted with Slipstream to lead its Commercial Energy Code Field Study being conducted in the Midwest. We are looking for commercial buildings larger than 75,000 sq. ft. with complex HVAC (heating and cooling controlled by a BAS) to participate in this study.  Read more
commercial building plans
Minnesota raised the bar on commercial building energy performance with historic code advancements. Utilities still have a vital role to play in the commercial new construction market. But how will the utility role change? Read more
multifamily building
Compliance with building energy codes is key to ensure home and business owners benefit from the intended energy savings. If we don’t use effective methods to understand energy code compliance, we can’t establish accurate baselines for energy efficiency programs or understand what energy savings are left on the table. Compliance insight will equip program managers to make the case for compliance improvement and enhancement programs. This is especially important for low-rise multifamily buildings. Read more
Blueprint
How can future versions of the ASHRAE 90.1 energy standard drive more energy cost savings? No studies have been conducted that determine the energy cost savings for buildings that comply with ASHRAE’s standard 90.1-2010 vs. the 2004 version based on utility bill data and building surveys. Slipstream will address this gap by documenting the energy performance of two building types. Then we’ll explore how to improve future versions of the standard to drive energy cost savings. Read more
photo of building professionals
What is the best way to accelerate the development and adoption of energy efficient technologies? Codes and standards programs are the most cost-effective of all the program options utilities can choose, according to a recent LBNL report. Why? Because standards can impact all major equipment, and codes can impact all buildings, giving the program the widest possible deployment footprint. Read more
contractors discussing plans
About 13,000 new homes and several hundred multifamily buildings are built in Minnesota each year and many existing homes are added on to or renovated. How do these projects compare relative to energy code? What kinds of beyond-code energy savings opportunities are still out there and how might utility conservation programs help to capture them? Read more
Exterior of the Tierra Linda development. Photo credit: Gordon Walek
Highlights from a study of two side-by-side projects of affordable housing new construction to compare energy efficiency between the Passive House standard and ENERGY STAR. Read more
New York City skyline
The standards experts at NBI explain how building owners and developers can get ready for ambitious clean-energy ordinances happening in cities and states throughout the U.S. Read more
Close-up of an industrial exhaust fan
We explain how the new metric will boost energy efficiency by helping designers choose a fan to meet a building's specific needs. Read more
photo of building professionals
Can utilities affect changes to building codes to improve energy savings? How feasible is it for utilities to increase cost-effective energy savings by influencing state or local building codes? We worked with an Illinois utility to find out. We reviewed information on how other states, most notably California, incorporated code programs in their portfolio. We investigated methods for attributing savings from these programs and interviewed Illinois stakeholders for their perspective on opportunities for code programs. Read more
Publication
Code compliance: the only path to energy savings from advanced codes Many cities lean on advanced building energy codes to meet climate action plan goals. Energy savings that drive reduced emissions and bill savings for businesses and consumers are two great benefits. But are all buildings under construction following code? The City of Providence, RI partnered with Slipstream to find out. Read more
News
Slipstream’s team of researchers, with support from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grants, will illuminate the future of energy productivity - both inside buildings and on the evolving grid. By partnering with DOE, our team will be on the front lines of needed change in the flexible building technology space which includes heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting. This research will: Read more