Residential and commercial buildings accounted for over 2,000 Million Metric Tons (MMT) of carbon equivalent emissions and 40% of the total energy consumed in the United States in 2016. New construction and major renovations in buildings have a long-term impact on emissions as many of the features incorporated at time of construction will impact energy consumption for decades.
In cities, the building sector is a major contributor to carbon emissions. Some jurisdictions may have climate policies and climate action plans that set targets and lay out an action plan for improvement on the path to zero carbon emissions. Other jurisdictions, like states and cities, may not have explicit climate goals, but they have an interest in improving building performance and reducing energy costs for their constituents.
Moving Energy Codes Forward: A Guide for Cities and States explains how energy codes can be a critical part of carbon reduction strategies and outlines steps to achieve significant code improvements. It links jurisdictions to leading design measures and new technologies which may be adopted as a stretch code, incorporated into incentive programs or policy initiatives, and eventually integrated in local and national code advancement efforts. It also offers guidance, resources and examples of advanced code adoption based on experiences in other communities.
Although local jurisdictions are unique in needs and specific implementation approaches, this guide provides a practical framework for implementing advanced codes and policies.
Research identifies that home design needs to considers both energy efficiency and heat stress resistance. Currently, NatHERS only focuses on energy efficiency. If the building codes are not modified, then house designs which only focus on NatHERS could adversely impact people's...Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
When South Eastern Australia was in severe drought at the beginning of the century, a whole array of efforts went into addressing the water shortage. Councils introduced, and then increased, water restrictions. Government handed out low-flow showerheads and shower timers,...Read more
The populations of most world cities are growing fast, and with it come challenges and opportunities for keeping citizens safe and well. New International Standards for measuring and improving the performance of cities have just been published:
ISO/TC 268: Sustainable cities and communities
The International Energy Policy & Programme Evaluation Conference was held on 7-9 June 2016 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for the presentation, critique and discussion of objective evaluations, as well as for experience sharing about evaluation practices.
Level(s) is a voluntary reporting framework to assess the sustainability of buildings. Using existing standards, Level(s) provides a common EU approach to the assessment of environmental performance in the built environment.
Without strong and ambitious policy support, the energy efficiency potential of cities is likely to remain largely untapped. Often cities have the opportunity to implement policies and programmes in the building sector that are complementary, more stringent or reflect greater ambition than national activities.