Buildings are central to meeting the sustainability challenge. In the developed world, buildings consume over 70% of the electric power generated and 40% of primary energy and are responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions from the energy services they require. In Europe, 75-90% of today’s buildings will be in use in 2050.
Developing countries will need to accommodate 2.4 billion new urban residents by 2050. Renewable energy technology alone cannot meet these requirements, despite recent improvements. The energy performance of buildings must be managed. The capability to meet the challenge exists today.
UNECE has launched a programme known as the High Performance Buildings Initiative (HPBI) to disseminate and deploy its Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings worldwide. The initiative will focus on capacity development and impact in the field, developing:
- the intellectual, material and financial resources to educate, advocate and advise for transformation to high performance buildings;
- the outreach required to create a worldwide urban shift to truly sustainable buildings.
The ultimate objective is to improve health and quality of life within the built environment while simultaneously decarbonizing buildingrelated energy requirements, thus breaking the historic link between improved health, quality of life and atmospheric carbonization.
Objectives and Targets:
The High Performance Buildings Initiative aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Moving the dial on building energy performance: grow the number of localities with building codes aligned with UNECE Framework Guidelines; ensure most new buildings are certified compliant; reduce by 60% the average energy requirement per square meter in the new building “fleet” and by 10% for existing buildings.
- Moving the dial on GHG emissions and indoor air quality: reduce by 40% CO2 emissions associated with meeting buildings’ energy service needs; increase by 10% the amount of carbon “stored” in buildings; improve indoor air quality and reduce pollution-linked health issues.
- Improving the global supply chain for the construction business: enhance “carbon storage” by increasing embedded carbon in buildings and building products and by reducing waste.
- Extending the network: recruit new centres of excellence and academic institutions to accelerate uptake of high performance best practices.