Midwest Buildings Leading the Zero Emissions Charge

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New Report Profiles Top Zero Emissions Building Projects in 13 States

Energy use in buildings is the fastest-growing source of carbon pollution in the Midwest —nearly 14 percent of total emissions economy-wide now come from the combustion of fossil fuels indoors. Fresh Energy via the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition is working to curb and reverse this growth throughout our entire region by creating groundbreaking new models and reports that are establishing equitable best practices and shaping new policy to get fossil fuels out of Midwestern buildings. 

To highlight innovative buildings that are saving owners thousands on energy bills and reducing carbon emissions, The Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition has partnered with the New Buildings Institute to publish the 2020 Midwest Getting to Zero Buildings ListThis inaugural report provides a comprehensive list of 63 trailblazing commercial and multifamily buildings in 13 midwestern states designed to be zero energy.  

“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 are showing us what is possible as we are working to move the Midwest away from natural gas and other fossil gas for heating and cooling.” 

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.


More about the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition: The Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition (Midwest BDC) seeks to develop equitable strategies to achieve zero emissions from the building sector by 2050. The Midwest BDC plays a leadership role in convening and leveraging numerous organizations, stakeholders, and allies to develop and implement a plan for coordinated progress in eight states (IA, IN, IL, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI). The Midwest BDC is currently sponsored by Fresh Energy.