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COP27 #BuildingsPavilion - Reducing Embodied Carbon through Retrofitting

COP27 #BuildingsPavilion, Auditorium (lot. n°113)

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

COP27 #BuildingsPavilion

Place: #BuildingsPavilion Auditorium (lot. n°113)

Date: 14 November 2022

Time: 14:00-15:00 Eastern European Time

Lead organisation(s): Build Change

Partners: Autodesk


Watch Recording


While structural retrofits have clear benefits to improving the resilience of buildings, in particular in climate-vulnerable communities, how does it affect the global goal to reach net zero?

In this session, Build Change will discuss the findings of a recent set of case studies conducted in the Global South. Initial findings have shown that retrofitting existing houses can save 60% of a home’s embodied carbon compared to new construction, and still 40% savings even when expansion is included in the improvement. This suggests that by improving existing housing instead of building new, tens of thousands of tons of emissions can be avoided every year.

With inputs from additional partners from across the carbon reductions and sustainability sectors, this session will discuss how these case studies factor into broader net zero goals.

As projections for new construction estimate about half of building-related emissions from now until 2050 will be from upfront embodied carbon, structural housing retrofits housing may be a decarbonization solution in hiding, with the potential to accelerate the race to zero and simultaneously build global resilience.


  • Lori Ferriss, Principal & Director of Sustainability and Climate Action, Goody Clancy
  • Ximena Rico, Government Affairs Lead, Autodesk LATAM
  • Lizzie Collins, Vice President of Engineering, Build Change
  • Audrey Nugent, Director of Advocacy, World Green Building Council
  • Monica Schroeder, Director of Global Advocacy, Build Change (moderator)