Skip to main content
2021-11-08 | ADEME, Resallience, French Ministry of Ecological Transition
Adaptation of the Building Sector to Climate Change: 10 Principles for Effective Action
GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group

UN Secretary-General calls latest IPCC WG1 Climate Report a ‘Code Red for Humanity’, stressing ‘irrefutable’ evidence of human influence, and that “climate impacts will undoubtedly worsen”.

Data collected over the recent decades shows that the climate is currently changing at an unprecedented pace due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since 2007, as shown in the latest IPCC report1. Climate change will have especially severe consequences all over the world for a built environment designed for steady conditions and for the communities that inhabit them. Understanding these consequences will require the use of projected climate data from RCP models on different spatial scales and several time horizons.

Therefore, GlobalABC is proposing “10 Principles for Effective Action” to policy 2 makers and practitioners to join forces and spread climate change adaptation actions in the building sector and willing to track annual progress.

To support these 10 Principles please contact the GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group at globalabc.adaptationwg@o-immobilierdurable.fr.

Download the 10 principles below!

2021-10-19
2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction is a reference document published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). This year's edition finds that in 2020, the sector accounted for 36 per cent of global final energy consumption and 37 per cent of energy related CO2 emissions, as compared to other end use sectors. While the level of emissions within the sector are 10 per cent lower than in 2019, reaching lows not seen since 2007, this was largely due to lockdowns, slowing of economies, difficulties households and businesses faced in maintaining and affording energy access and a fall in construction activity. Efforts to decarbonize the sector played only a small role.

Global Energy and Emissions 2021 Buildings GSR

Collectively, stakeholders in the sector must seize the opportunity that the COVID-19 economic recovery period offers to foster transformation for decarbonizing the sector. The sector must simultaneously meet a projected near-doubling of global demand for energy services in buildings and at least a doubling of floor space as developing economies continue to respond to the growing demand for building floor space, access to energy services and economic activities.

 

2021-07-28 | GlobalABC, ICLEI
Human Settlements - Climate Action Pathway
Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action

The GlobalABC is co-lead of the Built Environment Track of the Human Settlements Pathway!

The Human Settlements are one of the Thematic Areas of the Climate Action Pathways, which are a vital part of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA) tools to enhance climate action and ambition towards fully implementing the Paris Agreement. The Pathways aim to provide a roadmap to help Parties and non-Party stakeholders alike to identify actions needed by 2025, 2030 and 2040 as steps to get to the 2050 vision of a 1.5°C resilient world. In this regard, the climate action pathway for human settlements addresses whole-life carbon mitigation, adaptation and resilience in the built environment, as well as waste and consumption within human settlements.

Restricting climate change to 1.5°C would need “rapid and far-reaching” changes around energy use, industry and buildings design, as well as the wider planning of cities and infrastructure. The buildings and construction sector currently account for almost 40% of global energy and process-related carbon emissions, while around half of buildings that are predicted to exist in 2050 have yet to be built. Continuing in this direction, over 970 cities could be subjected to extreme heat, 500 cities could suffer from lack of water availability, and over 570 cities could be impacted by sea level rise by 2050. If action is not taken today, we risk locking emissions and vulnerability into our buildings and infrastructure that will become increasingly costly to mitigate in the future. Based on this critical observation, the built environment track of the Human Settlements climate action pathway outlines a set of necessary stakeholder (i.e. policy makers, financial institutions, technology providers and innovators, business and service providers and civil society) actions to be taken to accelerate the transition to a net-zero carbon, healthy and resilient built environment.

UNECE logo
2021-07-13
UNECE new national studies on energy efficiency in buildings for Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and the Republic of Moldova
UNECE

UNECE has developed three in-depth national studies for Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and the Republic of Moldova under the project “Enhancing National Capacities to Develop and Implement Energy Efficiency Standards for Buildings in the UNECE Region”, which aims to enhance capacity of the UNECE member States to improve energy efficiency in buildings, with a focus on residential buildings. More information on UNECE helps Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and the Republic of Moldova scale up cost-effective climate action by improving buildings’ energy efficiency 

Tunisia Hospital Guide: Guide for Energy Efficiency in Healthcare Facilities
2021-07-12
Tunisia Hospital Guide: Guide for Energy Efficiency in Healthcare Facilities
Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Hospitals are large consumers of energy. This guide for the Tunisian hospital sector gives concrete recommendations to energy managers and architects. It covers areas such as the orientation of waiting areas and patient rooms, energy efficiency and management of different hospital installations, and the integration of renewable energy sources to provide a safe and secure power supply for its day-to-day functioning.

The guide was developed by the Tunisian Ministry of Health and the Tunisian Energy Management Agency (ANME), with the Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PEEB)

2021-07-09
Decarbonizing construction: Guidance for investors and developers to reduce embodied carbon
World Business Council for Sustainable Development

A large part of the construction sector’s emissions come from building products and materials – referred to as embodied carbon. Embodied carbon is increasingly becoming the focus of regulatory bodies, making it a risk factor for developers and investors to price into construction projects.

This report provides guidance on how to reduce embodied carbon in buildings. The report targets developers and investors who have a unique opportunity to shape demand and drive transformation at the early stages of building projects. By doing so, they can significantly reduce the “financed” emissions across different asset classes they are invested in.

The report provides over 50 embodied carbon-reduction policies and best practices that investors and developers can adopt for their projects and guidance on how to use them. We have grouped each measure into one of the following five categories.

  • Create a carbon policy that sets out consistent requirements for all projects to follow.
  • Set targets and transparency requirements for projects to meet across all their phases.
  • Prioritize circularity – that is, less new building and more reuse and refurbishment.
  • Design optimization to use less material and to choose materials with a low carbon footprint.
  • Low-carbon procurement to ensure acquisition of materials with a low carbon footprint.

Developers and investors can use the guidance as it stands or adapt it to their needs. The measures and requirements are flexible and can easily be combined with different green building certifications or sustainability reporting systems.

2021-07-08
Net-zero buildings: Where do we stand?
World Business Council for Sustainable Development

This report looks in detail at the results of six whole life cycle assessment (WLCA) case studies to illustrate some of the challenges, barriers and opportunities relating to the building industry’s carbon footprint. It aims to provide an insight into the industry’s current performance and compare it to possible net-zero trajectories.

Analyzing the whole life carbon emissions of six building projects using the WBCSD Building System Carbon Framework, the report shows that:

  • An average whole life carbon footprint of 1,800 kgCO2e/m2 was estimated across the six case studies.
  • As much as 50% of whole life carbon emissions in a building comes from embodied carbon (manufacturing of materials and the construction process) the majority of this being emitted immediately at the start of the life cycle.
  • Typically as few as six materials account for 70% of the construction-related embodied carbon.

The report identifies crucial next steps to support the sector’s journey toward decarbonization:

  • Adopt a clear definition of a net-zero building, taking into account whole life-cycle carbon.
  • Carry out WLCA on all projects, using a consistent methodology and open-source sharing of the data obtained.
  • Commit to clear, simple global targets across the buildings industry, including a valid approach to residual emissions (offsetting).
  • Develop consistent and transparent carbon intensity certification for components, systems and materials used by the industry.
  • Achieve wider collaboration as individual organizations taking action is not enough.

WBCSD developed this report in collaboration with professional service firm Arup. The authors encourage stakeholders from across the built environment to conduct whole-life carbon assessments of their projects and openly publish the results to create a body of evidence and foster shared learning.

2021-07-06 | Rajat Gupta (Oxford Brookes University), Mittul Vahanvati (RMIT University), Julia Häggström (SEfficiency), Jacob S. Halcomb (SEfficiency).
A Practical Guide to Climate-resilient Buildings & Communities
UNEP & SEfficiency

This practical guide demonstrates how buildings and community spaces can be constructed to increase their resilience to climate change, especially in developing countries where structures are largely self-built. The publication provides an overview of the fundamental types of interventions at the building scale, including the use of nature-based solutions. 

The guide offers construction solutions to adapt to a range of different risks in various climates. For instance, it shows us how to reduce indoor heat in hot and arid climates, or how to mitigate cyclone impacts on buildings in hot and humid climates. Importantly, the report also provides us with a highly practical checklist that should be considered by government officers and development practitioners when undertaking a new building project. 

The guidance has been developed because there is a recognized need to understand good practices for climate-resilient buildings in communities that may suffer from a deficit of professionally trained architects, engineers, and other practitioners. Therefore, this note is written for a broad audience, including those with little experience in the building and construction industries.

2021-06-10 | Sibyl Steuwer, Janne Rieke Boll
Introducing a carbon price on heating fuels – an effective signal for faster decarbonisation?
BPIE

According to the Renovation Wave Strategy, the buildings sector must contribute a 60% emission reduction to achieve the EU’s 2030 climate target. This requires a steep increase of deep renovations from currently 0.2% to 3% annually and a well-designed bundle of policies to overcome the distinct barriers of the sector. To achieve ambitious reductions in the non-emissions trading system (ETS) sectors (to which buildings and transport currently belong), the introduction of an EU-wide CO2 price in the buildings and transport sectors is currently debated within the European institutions. In particular, an introduction of an ETS for transport and buildings, either by extending the current EU ETS or by setting up a separate scheme for buildings and transport, is currently being discussed. Both options would imply a transfer of the compliance mechanism at least partly from the Member States to an Emissions Trading Scheme and the regulated parties, and thus a reform of the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). Alternatively, national targets under the ESR could be strengthened to reflect the new climate protection targets. This briefing shows the role of a carbon price to reduce carbon emissions in the buildings sector based on existing literature, market insights of the building sector and experiences from European countries. The paper then explains the implications for the design of a carbon price regime – either a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme – and the resulting changes to the compliance mechanism for carbon reductions in the building sector. This briefing shows the role of a carbon price to reduce carbon emissions in the buildings sector and looks at the implications for the design of a carbon price regime and the resulting changes to the compliance mechanism for carbon reductions in the building sector. https://www.bpie.eu/publication/introducing-a-carbon-price-on-heating-fuels-an-effective-signal-for-faster-decarbonisation/

2020 Buildings-GSR
2020-12-16
2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction is a reference document of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). The fifth edition of this annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector globally towards the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, particularly on the drivers of CO2 emissions and energy demand globally and the status of policies, finance, technologies, and solutions that support a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. This year’s Buildings-GSR features input from over 110 GlobalABC members and experts from all regions: a true collaborative effort, building a global community. This year’s Buildings-GSR shines a light on the disruptions of COVID-19 and some of the responses in 2020, and includes a snapshot on emerging key issues: materials, nature-based solutions, health, and cooling for resilience. It also introduces a new index to track progress in decarbonisation in the sector – the Buildings Climate Tracker (BCT).

While the total final energy consumption of the global buildings sector remained at the same level in 2019 compared to the previous year, CO2 emissions from the operation of buildings have increased to their highest level yet at around 10 GtCO2, or 28% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. With the inclusion of emissions from the buildings construction industry, this share increases to 38% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. The slightly lower proportion of buildings emissions compared with the 39% seen in 2018 was due to the increases in transport and other industry emissions relative to buildings.

2020 Buildings GSR
Sources: (IEA 2020d; IEA 2020b). All rights reserved. Adapted from “IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances” and “Energy TechnologyPerspectives".

Authors: Dr. Ian Hamilton and Dr. Harry Kennard from University College London (UCL) and Oliver Rapf, Dr. Judit Kockat and Dr. Sheikh Zuhaib from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), with support from Thibaut Abergel and Michael Oppermann from the International Energy Agency (IEA), and support from Martina Otto, Sophie Loran, Nora Steurer and Natacha Nass from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC)

 

 

 

Subscribe to Clean Energy