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ASHRAE Task Force For Building Decarbonization

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 Questions? Contact decarb@ashrae.org

Join Us on the Journey to Zero.

Jurisdictions globally are confronting climate change and recognizing that building decarbonization is a significant component of their efforts. The worldwide building sector accounts for about 40% of energy-related carbon emissions and the global building stock is predicted to double by the year 2060.

Buildings remain a key sector that lacks sufficient climate change mitigation policies. As the standards authority for energy usage in buildings, ASHRAE recognizes that our long-standing initiatives in energy efficiency should include greenhouse gas emission reductions based on a holistic analysis including healthy, safe, and comfortable environments; energy efficiency; environmental impacts; sustainability; operational security; and economics. 

Two minute overview of Building Decarbonization
Featuring ASHRAE Presidential Member Kent Peterson

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New! Building Performance Standards:
A Technical Resource Guide

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Position Document

Position Document

ASHRAE’s Position Document on Building Decarbonization, issued June 2022, recommends embracing building decarbonization strategies to reduce building greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions  Learn More

Our Commitment

Our Commitment

ASHRAE is moving forward to address decarbonization of the global built environment with the same level of importance and urgency as it tackled energy efficiency in the energy crisis  Learn More

Videos

Videos

Watch and share videos created by ASHRAE’s TFBD members that explain what decarbonization is and illustrate how ASHRAE and its members are working towards a decarbonized futureWatch Now 


ASHRAE Positions

Eliminating GHG emissions from the built environment is essential to address climate change.

By 2030, the global built environment must halve its 2015 GHG emissions.

1. All new buildings must be net zero GHG emissions in operation,
2. Widespread energy-efficiency retrofits of existing assets must be well underway,
3. Embodied carbon of new construction must be reduced by at least 40%.

By 2050, at the latest, all new and existing assets must be net zero GHG emissions across the whole life cycle.


Decarbonization benefits go beyond reducing GHGs.

  • Reduced indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • Energy savings
  • Improved community health and well-being
  • Enhanced social responsibility
  • Increased property valuation

Operational energy-related GHG emissions can be reduced by

  • Efficiency measures and building electrification
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Refrigerants: Low-GWP, minimizing volume, and improving management
  • Renewable energy sources (on and off site) and energy storage
  • Building-grid integration and real-time carbon signals

Increasing stringency and enforcement of energy codes are critical for decarbonization.

Whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA) 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 (BPS) should be considered as a policy tool for existing building decarbonization.


Building decarbonization strategies and policies must consider

  • Mitigating impacts on disadvantaged communities and less-developed nations
  • Healthy, safe, and comfortable environments
  • Environmental and social impacts
  • Sustainability
  • Resilience
  • Economics

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