U.S. government takes steps to impose a National Definition for Zero Emissions Buildings

Heat map of a building without facade insulation. Photo: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/"target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a href=" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license"target="_blank">Creative Commons License</a>

The aim is to reduce energy consumption and foster the use of clean energy

The Biden-Harris Administration seeks to create a standardized, verifiable basis for defining a zero emissions building. “A broadly accepted common minimum definition for a zero emissions building, as well as a pathway for verification, is foundational to efforts by public and private entities to transition the building sector to zero emissions,“ as said on a webpage of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), “The definition may serve as a framework that users can achieve through multiple pathways to influence the design and operation of buildings to substantially reduce building sector emissions.“

Studies show that more than 40 % of climate gas stems from the building sector, in large parts from cement used for concrete.

DOE has developed part 1 of a draft definition for zero emissions buildings, applicable to existing buildings and new construction of non-federally owned buildings.

In the European Union, the discussion is already one step further: there, the focus is now also on production of building materials, so on the reduction of the so-called „grey“ energy in an edifice.

Building load-bearing walls of massive stone is one idea as stone is available from nature and needs only to be cut from the rocks and processed.

Draft download

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(27.02.2024, USA: 02.27.2024)