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Buildings decarbonization “must be based on a holistic analysis” – ASHRAE position document

August 4, 2022  By Anthony Capkun

August 4, 2022 – ASHRAE issued a position document on building decarbonization and its role on “mitigating the negative carbon impact of buildings on the environment”.

The decarbonization of buildings and its systems must be based on a holistic analysis, says ASHRAE, which includes healthy, safe, and comfortable environments, energy efficiency, environmental impacts, sustainability, operational security and economics.

According to the association, the global built environment must at least halve its 2015 GHG emissions by 2030. To achieve this:

• All new buildings are net-zero GHG emissions in operation.
• Widespread energy efficiency retrofit of existing assets are well underway.
• Embodied carbon of new construction is reduced by at least 40%.


“ASHRAE’s technical guidance, standards and training have long been the basis for high-performing buildings and GHG emission-reduction strategies, and this position document will amplify our efforts towards a more sustainable future for all,” said Kent Peterson, chair, ASHRAE Task Force for Building Decarbonization.

DOWNLOAD HERE (PDF) – ASHRAE Position Document June 2022 FULL

Additional positions and recommendations from the document include:

• Increased stringency and enforcement of energy codes.

• Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment must be considered in future building codes to reduce embodied and operational GHG emissions related to buildings and their HVAC&R systems.

• Building Performance Standards should be considered as a policy tool for existing building decarbonization.

• Decarbonization policies must contemplate and mitigate impacts on disadvantaged communities and less-developed nations.

• Building decarbonization strategies and policies must consider: healthy, safe, and comfortable environments; environmental and social impacts; sustainability; resilience; and economics.

• Promote research and development of heat pump technology.

• Support the development, update, and adoption of relevant standards and guidelines that facilitate the whole-life reduction of GHG emissions in new and existing buildings.

• Encourage greater collaboration and the development of standards and guidelines among the energy, transportation and building sectors to improve secure building-grid integration, data communication, and optimization of energy performance (generation, use and storage).

• Work in partnership with industry to increase the capacity and opportunities for a skilled workforce supporting building decarbonization.


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