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2024-04-16 | GlobalABC Secretariat
GlobalABC Secretariat

The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) is increasingly being recognised as the key platform for bringing together all stakeholders including national governments, industry leaders, policymakers, NGOs, academia, and advocates with a shared vision: A zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector.

In 2023, the GlobalABC made considerable progress in reviewing its strategies and adding new essential strategic elements. Five key documents were produced to support the GlobalABC in delivering on its mandate and serving its members: Revised GlobalABC Strategic Framework; Communications Strategy; Member Engagement Strategy; Renewal and Reporting Framework; and Resource mobilisation strategy.

The 2023 narrative report reflects the continuing growth and evolution of the alliance and the key achievements that have defined the GlobalABC in the past year. 

2024-03-19 | Mervyn Jones, Douglas Fraser, Javier Letamendi, Stewart Muir, and Claire Thiebault
SAICM Secretariat

This guidance is primarily aimed at public procurers involved in a range of contracting agreements related to building materials and products. This includes the purchase of building materials for construction works, but may also extend to material extraction, manufacturing, building, retrofit, refurbishment, design, interior fit out, and end-of-life demolition or deconstruction processes. 

There are a variety of roles within the procurement cycle that the guidance can support, from commissioning, category management, tender preparation and evaluation, to contract management.

2024-03-07 | BPIE, UCL
GlobalABC/UNEP

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR), a report published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), provides an annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector on a global scale. The Buildings-GSR reviews the status of policies, finance, technologies, and solutions to monitor whether the sector is aligned with the Paris Agreement goals. It also provides stakeholders with evidence to persuade policymakers and the overall buildings and construction community to take action.

As outlined in the latest edition, the buildings and construction sector contributes significantly to global climate change, accounting for about 21 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2022, buildings were responsible for 34 per cent global energy demand and 37 per cent of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The 2022 update of the Global Buildings Climate Tracker (GBCT) paints a concerning picture: the gap between the current state and the desired decarbonisation path is significant. To align with the 2030 milestone, an annual increase of ten decarbonisation points is now required, a substantial jump from the six points anticipated per year starting in 2015.

This year, the deep dive chapters are the following: Adaptation and resilient construction methods; Innovations in business cases as well as Nature-based solutions and biophilic design.

Learn more and download the 2023 Buildings-GSR

2024-03-04
GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group

The report highlights the urgent global crisis of climate change, emphasizing its wide-ranging consequences on the environment, biodiversity, human health, and poverty. It particularly focuses on the vulnerability of the built environment to climate change impacts and stresses the need for immediate adaptation measures. Despite the clear benefits and urgent need for adaptation, there's a notable delay in embracing and implementing adaptation strategies across stakeholders within the buildings and construction sector, though the report demonstrates that each stakeholder already has tools and levers to contribute to the resilience of the built environment. The text then addresses various challenges hindering adaptation efforts, including reluctance to bear initial costs, a predominant focus on mitigation rather than adaptation, and the need for local-level initiatives and financial resources. It calls for collective action, emphasizing the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in addressing climate change adaptation and ensuring a sustainable future.

Download the full report and its executive summary below.

2023-12-31 | Valerio Micale, John Michael LaSalle, Paul Rosane, Matthew Solomon, Chavi Meattle, Jessie Press-Williams, and Priscilla Negreiros
Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance

This report applies network analysis to examine the interdependencies between 75 policy and finance instruments, as well as 22 barriers, to support the transition to net zero carbon buildings. Such a network analysis approach allows us to move beyond case studies to explore potential high-impact pathways for cities to support a low-carbon transition for the building sector effectively.

Developing a systemic representation of the building sector allows us to answer the following questions:

  • Which barriers should we prioritize to ensure systemic transformation of the building sector?
  • Which instruments should we roll out, and in what sequence?
  • What pathways can cities follow to transition to a fully decarbonized building sector?

This report offers initial findings on the general challenges and mechanisms behind the transition towards a net zero carbon buildings sector, helping shed light on concrete pathways cities can implement to decarbonize the building sector.

Download the report now

2023-12-01
UNEP FI

Climate Target Setting for Real Estate Sector Financing’ is the first in a series of publications developed by members of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) with the goal of assisting banks by outlining the choices they make when setting climate-related targets for financing in particular sectors of the real economy. This includes key considerations in relation to the scope, portfolio metrics, data, and scenarios, emerging practices, common challenges and policy, data, and other gaps.

For many banks, the commitment they choose to make when joining NZBA requires them to set sectoral decarbonisation targets for their residential and commercial real estate financing. This publication is aimed at these banks in particular. It does not prescribe any particular methodology for banks to use or impose any requirements on NZBA member banks over and above the ones they chose to commit to when becoming a signatory.

Read the full report here.

 
One Planet Network; Minister of Environment in Finland; RMIT University; UNEP; GlobalABC

This brochure introduced the Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme from 2015-2022, One of the six programmes established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) serving as the Secretariat of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) and its One Planet Network (OPN). SBC was led by the Ministry of the Environment Finland, UNEP and RMIT University from Melbourne, Australia. The target of the programme, as indicated, is to bring attention to the role and importance of circularity in the built environment, and of the Global South to lock-in sustainable and circular approaches in construction. It helped map circularity indicators in the buildings and construction sector against the SDGs.

The legacy of the One Planet Network (OPN) Sustainable Buildings and Construction (SBC) Programme continues as Circular Built Environment (CBE) sub-working group of the Materials Hub of the Global Alliance of Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). CBE builds on the momentum that the OPN SBC programme set during 2015-2022. The work continues through a partnership between the GlobalABC and the 10YFP/OPN. The GlobalABC advances international co-operation related to sustainable buildings and construction. It is a community of stakeholders from different parts of the world representing the entire buildings and construction value chain. The brochure introduced the focused aread of the CBE, and its main mission.

 
2023-10-01 | Anna Zinecker, Loė Guthmann, Krishna Jithendra Kumar, Sreeparna Mitra, and Amit Weiner
Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings(PEEB)

Buildings are a sleeping giant for climate action. In 2021, buildings accounted for 37% of global energy- and process-related emissions (UNEP, 2022).  At the same time, buildings are particularly vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, soil erosion, or wildfires. Climate-resilient buildings – promoting flexible design, passive cooling, nature-based solutions, local materials, or water conservation – are vital in achieving mitigation and adaptation objectives (Bourgault, Zinecker, & Mitra, 2021).

But climate action on buildings is lagging. Of the USD 5.8 trillion spent in the buildings and construction sector in 2019, only a fraction (2.6%) went towards building energy efficiency. Rising inflation rates have diverted the attention of many governments. In 2022, a modest 2% increase was estimated for investment in energy efficiency in buildings (UNEP, 2022).

To date, 194 countries have submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat. This report analysed these submissions, looking for buildings-related measures, and classified each of these measures along three categories: (1) Mitigation; (2) Adaptation; and (3) Cross-cutting measures. For each of these, this report created subcategories such as energy efficiency in design, building structure, or financing.

Going forward, this study finds out that an analysis and benchmarking of the NDCs on specific topics may help introduce an even more effective next generation of NDCs on buildings. At the same time, there is a need to quantify targets, and back them up with financing. The sheet of NDCs used for this analysis is available for further research and policy work.

Please read the full report here.

 
2023-02-11 | Kika Brockstedt
Revalu Impact AG

Revalu is a material data platform that enables to assess the impact across the design phase. It provides access to Europe’s largest EPD library and integrates 3rd party-verified data into existing workflows. It also offers climate insights, material innovation hub, and efficient documentation for ESG or LCA reporting. 

In the last 18 months, Revalu engaged with over 380 stakeholders across the industry to understand how they are addressing the current challenges of transitioning towards a more sustainable built environment and identified that the significant portion of the built environment's emissions stems from the choice of materials, with industry standards being notably polluting. Although alternatives exist, their environmental benefits are challenging to assess without clear data.

Furthermore, material data and sustainability resources are not uniformly available to everyone. Larger architectural firms can allocate resources to time-consuming explorations and collaborate with sustainability experts, whereas smaller firms and solo architects struggle to keep pace, resulting in a widening knowledge gap that hinders collective movement towards more conscious practices. 

Thus this material data platform is designed to empower all architects, regardless of firm size, with reliable data right at the design stage — where impactful decisions are made. 

Please try it out here.

 

 

2023-09-29 | The Passive House Network
The Passive House Network

In the quest to establish and enforce Passive House building codes that align with sustainability and energy efficiency goals, a comprehensive guide has been developed by The Passive Housing Network to shed light on the best practices in the implementation process. This report presents a roadmap for achieving the desired codes, emphasizing the critical need for market confidence, professional competence, and a robust supply chain to support their successful integration.

The findings of this research reveal a structured, four-step approach that, when executed in the proper sequence, can consistently bring Passive House building standards into practice:

  • Alternate Pathways: Eliminate the hindrances created by the necessity of developing two distinct energy models. Advocate for the approval of Passive House models as an alternative compliance pathway.
  • Passive House Incentives: Institute incentives aimed at bolstering industry capacity, expanding product supply chains, and reinforcing market confidence in Passive House construction.
  • Add PH Reach & Stretch Codes: Introduce OPTIONAL reach or stretch codes for local jurisdictions, offering them the flexibility to adopt and implement these codes.
  • Transform Baseline Codes: Once a substantial foundation of market confidence, professional competence, and a robust product supply chain is firmly established, revise the baseline codes to deliver desired Passive House outcomes.

It's worth noting that this process, from inception to completion, was successfully executed in Brussels within a span of just seven years. Additionally, Scotland is on the verge of accomplishing a similar feat. Massachusetts is following suit, with a strategic plan mirroring this trajectory. In cases where energy codes are locally governed, cities such as Denver find themselves in a favorable position to implement these steps ahead of state and national codes.

For more in-depth insights, practical examples, and a thorough breakdown of these four essential steps, we encourage you to delve into the full report. It offers a comprehensive guide for those committed to advancing Passive House building codes and fostering a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.

Please read the full briefing here.