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ASHRAE Task Force For Building Decarbonization

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Task Force on Decarbonization Guide Projects Ready to Bid – Requests-for-Proposal (RFPs)

Something new is coming soon!
>> Check back in late Fall 2022 for updates to this webpage as ASHRAE continues to expand its long-standing initiatives in energy efficiency to address building decarbonization.

Through its Working Groups with over 100 volunteers from around the world, the TFBD is:

  • Determining and engaging with other organizations with pertinent skills, knowledge and expertise
  • Providing information to policy makers on how they might achieve the goals they have established
  • Providing recommendations and best practices for industry stakeholders by:
    • Identifying existing portfolio of technical resources
    • Packaging these technical resources in a useful way
    • Providing tools for energy efficiency, embodied carbon, and reducing operational carbon
    • Identifying knowledge gaps and developing resources to address those gaps

The Process

The TFBD will achieve these objectives through its Working Groups (WG), which will identify key areas of concern to address and will deliver recommendations and practices for industry stakeholders. A Public Policy Issue Brief that describes ASHRAE’s role in building decarbonization has been created. A more comprehensive ASHRAE Position Document on Building Decarbonization is being developed.

The TFBD has been holding bi-weekly meetings, and Working Groups also meet regularly. To provide input or contribute to any of these efforts, please email decarb@ashrae.org.

Questions or Comments?


  • Research

    Research / Knowledge Hub

    ASHRAE Decarbonization Related Policies, Briefs, and Standards  

    The Hub will collaborate with other working groups and affiliated groups globally to identify and archive resources available:

    • Definitions
    • Literature - Standards, Guidelines, Metrics
    • Research
    • Policy Goals - Country, State / Province, City


  • Operational

    Operational Carbon

    Building Operating Emissions Issues Summary

      The Operational Carbon Working Group will:

    • Identify issues in migrating to less carbon intensive energy sources
    • Identify strategies to minimize building electrical consumption during periods when the grid has a higher fraction of carbon emitting energy sources
    • Develop strategies to transition from an energy-based metric to a carbon-based metric that recognizes the time-variation of grid carbon content
    • Refine the approach to metrics to recognize carbon mitigation strategies that reduce overall emissions, including those, such as densification and multi-shift operation, that reduce overall emissions while intensifying emissions in individual buildings
  • Embodied

    Embodied Carbon / LCA

    Embodied Carbon Codes and Policies Summary

    The Embodied Carbon / Life Cycle Assessment Working Group will:

    • Provide guidance on how to measure carbon in materials, products, services and processes from cradle to grave (except operational carbon)
    • Develop a framework and roadmap for LCA and embodied carbon including guidelines, reference portals, training and education, special publications, benchmarking metrics, etc.
    • Determine a holistic methodology to quantify how materials, products, services, and processes from cradle to grave (except operational carbon) affect climate change, non-renewable resources and the environment
  • Building
    Performance Stds.

    Building Performance Standards

       The Building Performance Standards Working Group will:

    • Provide different metrics of measuring and reporting building energy and carbon performance in existing buildings
    • Determine the need to develop a national building performance standard with carbon targets to meet long term climate goals 
    • Develop a comprehensive guide to successfully implement a building performance standard, including benchmarking, existing building stock assessment, compliance and enforcement of codes and standards, and incentives or financial assistance
    • Identify and promote best practices of policy, tools and resources for the implementation of building performance metric
  • Grid–Building

    Grid – Building Intersection

    Grid-Building Intersection Issues Paper

    Carbon Intensity Whitepaper

      The Grid-Building Intersection Working Group will provide
      guidance on:

    • Use of secure building-grid communication systems to enable integration of low-carbon distributed energy resources
    • Identify value to building and value to the grid of resilience, load flexibility, controls, information systems, and energy storage systems (electrical and thermal) on the customer side of the meter that are cost effective and responsive
    • Identify optimized responses of buildings to signals from the grid
  • Building
    Stds. & Codes

    Building Standards and Codes

    Standards and Codes Related to Building Decarbonization

    The Building Standards and Codes Working Group will:

    • Solicit international standards & codes organizations’ cooperation with the work group's activities
    • Identify the standards and codes that currently exist on the decarbonization of buildings and identify collaboration opportunities
    • Determine what technical guidance and resources are lacking to make existing ASHRAE standards more comprehensive and usable
    • Identify new ASHRAE Standards, guidelines or other resources that can be developed quickly to meet gaps in governments’ building decarbonization needs
    • Evaluate ways to reconfigure monitoring and compliance standards to satisfy decarbonization-based requirements of governmental policies
    • Promote development of Best Practices Zero-Carbon Design Guidance for new and existing commercial and residential buildings (single family and multi-family) for all climatic zones
  • Appliance &
    Eqpt. Stds.

    Appliance and Equipment Standards

      The Appliance and Equipment Standards Working Group will:

    • Review the various methods being used globally to quantify the total carbon emissions from appliance and equipment use
    • Produce a report on the suitability of current equipment and system performance metrics and life cycle carbon emission calculation methods with recommendations on future work
    • Develop guidance for manufacturers on a practical and repeatable way to calculate lifecycle carbon emissions and embodied carbon in HVAC&R appliances and equipment
    • Produce a roadmap to close gaps identified in existing calculation methods
    • Work with industry and government to identify an acceptable and practical method for providing total carbon impacts for mechanical systems
    • Produce a product and service portfolio of standards, tools and guidelines to ensure an unbiased approach
  • Training
    & Edu.

    Training and Education

    The Training and Education Working Group will:

    • Identify current and propose new training, education, and publications that will support the learning of decarbonization of the built environment
    • Create an inventory of ASHRAE’s and other organizations’ resources that address decarbonization of the built environment building
    • Determine the training and education needs of the various different type of stakeholders and recommend the development of resources to meet these needs
  • Site

    Site Sequestration

    Carbon Sequestration

    The Site Sequestration Working Group will provide guidance on:

    • Review methods of carbon sequestration (oceanic, terrestrial and geologic)
    • Determine how site carbon sequestration affects ASHRAE members’ areas of interest and responsibility
    • Identify technologies that are site scalable
    • Identify what ASHRAE can do to help its members and the industry
    • Objectively frame the issues associated with this initiative
    • Establish tools to frame this journey