What is Required of Buildings?

To meet the goals both industry and government have set in the Paris Agreement and elsewhere, buildings must deliver the outcomes identified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and by UN agencies and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for buildings to play their role in mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development. A paper exploring those findings and guidelines in some detail can be found here.

In broad terms, a building delivering those outcomes:

  1. Advances mitigation by:
    • Achieving Passive House efficiency or better
    • Operating on renewable energy
    • Minimizing embodied carbon
    • Delivering the above three outcomes as soon as possible
  1. Reflects the SER Framework of Sufficiency, Efficiency and Renewables
  2. Is a grid interactive, smart building with measurement and verification of performance
  3. Maintains a comfortable and healthy indoor environment during extreme weather and energy supply interruptions
  4. Is resilient to the future climate, weather, and sea level
  5. Mitigates impacts of weather events on people, infrastructure, and nature
  6. Supports biodiversity
  7. In delivering the outcomes described above, contributes to all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals with the exception of #14, Life Below Water.

While such outcomes can appear ambitious at first glance, an understanding of building and data science plus modern construction options places them within reach. If you are one of the majority still coming to terms with this range of outcomes, we invite you to join us, become trained and engage with industry leaders delivering them.