Urban density significantly impacts urban energy use and the quality of life of urban residents. Here, the authors provide a global-scale analysis of future urban densities and associated energy use in the built environment under different urbanization scenarios. The relative importance of urban density and energy-efficient technologies varies geographically.
Most large developing countries have a building energy code or other building efficiency policies. However, testing and rating systems to assess the energy performance of building materials often lag behind these codes and policies. Building materials play a key role in setting the energy footprint of a building. Poorly performing or poorly labeled materials can result in higher energy use and lack of market incentives to produce high efficiency products.
India is expected to add 40 billion m2 of new buildings till 2050. Buildings are responsible for one third of India's total energy consumption today and building energy use is expected to continue growing driven by rapid income and population growth. The implementation of the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) is one of the measures to improve building energy efficiency.
The Nationally Determined Contributions are allowing countries to examine options for reducing emissions through a range of domestic policies. India, like many developing countries, has committed to reducing emissions through specific policies, including building energy codes. Here we assess the potential of these sectoral policies to help in achieving mitigation targets. Collectively, it is critically important to see the potential impact of such policies across developing countries in meeting national and global emission goals.
Certification of green building materials is a proven and effective way to incorporate, at large scale, products that are energy efficient, have minimal ill effect on indoor air quality, and/or have other green attributes into buildings. Recently, the General Office of the State Council of China, in order to increase the supply of high-quality green products into the buildings market, issued guidance on developing a uniform system for green product standards and certification by 2020.
Building energy efficiency is an important strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally. In fact, 55 countries have included building energy efficiency in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. This research uses building energy code implementation in six cities across different continents as case studies to assess what it may take for countries to implement the ambitions of their energy efficiency goals.
This toolkit is designed as a first step in helping countries, cities and experts in developing, adopting and implementing their codes. In its present form, this toolkit is set out as a useful reference, but also as a means of assessing the potential of such information to help governments and other stakeholders. The toolkit covers five main topics: guidance for cities and jurisdictions that are just getting started, and tools that can provide inspiration and knowledge regarding code development, adoption, implementation and evaluation.