Design Toolbox

New Construction Guide

Increasing energy code stringency and owner demand for higher efficiency in buildings are challenging design teams to deliver high performance without adding costs. The New Construction Guide offers a comprehensive approach to new commercial construction projects that achieves efficiencies up to 40% higher than conventional buildings. Read more

Advanced Lighting Guidelines

Advanced Lighting Guidelines (ALG), now ALG Online, is part of Advanced Buildings® suite of technical tools and resources and is a premier resource for energy-efficient lighting design, technologies and applications representing the latest and best thinking of experts in the field. Read More

Daylighting for Office Interiors Guide

Interior architects and designers play a critical role in ensuring the full benefit of daylighting design is realized. Without proper space planning, window coverings and interior finishes, the best plans for using natural light to lower energy use can be defeated. The Daylighting for Office Interiors Guide, an Advanced Buildings® resource, helps designers understand and consider the best use of space and finishes to maximize illumination of daylight. Read More

Core Performance

A direct, simplified approach to achieve predictable energy saving in small- to medium-sized buildings without the need for modeling. This nationally recognized, easy-to-use, guide brings together criteria defining high performance in buildings that includes envelope, lighting, HVAC, power systems and controls. When applied together in an integrated design process, these measures result in buildings that are up to 30% more energy efficient than model building standards. Read More

Daylighting Pattern Guide

The Daylighting Pattern Guide, the latest addition to the New Building Institute’s Advanced Buildings® suite of tools and resources, is a free, interactive tool that helps design teams incorporate proven daylighting strategies into commercial building projects for substantial reductions in lighting power consumption and overall building energy use. Read More

EZ Sim

EZ Sim is a spreadsheet tool that provides functionality much like that from a more sophisticated engineering analysis while being more accessible. With EZ Sim you can diagnose energy patterns and consumption, relate savings estimates with actual energy usage, estimate energy end-uses within the facility, and generate performance targets to compare against actual energy bills. Read more

Mechanical Systems

Mechanical engineers can improve energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems by using this set of guidance on variable air volume (VAV) and small package systems. These three guides were developed through funding from California's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. Read More

Plug Load Best Practices Guide

An operations toolkit outlining best practices for addressing office plug loads, a growing energy use in commercial buildings. It outlines five no- and low-cost steps and strategies for managing the energy consumption of appliances, equipment, and other “plug” loads. Read More

Rooftop Unit HVAC Efficiency Primer

This guide provides solutions to improve the efficiency of existing unitary heating and cooling equipment, commonly known as rooftop units (RTUs), and organizes effective measures into a framework based on the level of invasiveness and what components are affected outside or inside the building. Read More


Using only montly utility bills and a few building characteristics, NBI's FirstView software and services can analyze a building's performance highlighting areas of concern and opportunities for performance improvments all at a feraction of the cost and effort of traditional energy audits or modeling. Read More