The City of Cambridge, Mass., recently mandated that all non-residential buildings—including existing structures—larger than 100,000 sf meet a net-zero emissions requirement by 2035.
In a news release, Cambridge says it is “the first known city in the country” to enact a 2035 deadline for net zero. Mid-size buildings, defined as 100,000 sf or smaller, will have to reach net zero by 2050.
Buildings covered under the new law can continue to burn fossil fuels on site if owners purchase verified carbon credits, but only until 2050, and only to offset limited amounts of emissions. Building owners must eventually use renewable energy, either by investing in solar panels or purchasing a contract for renewable energy.
Cambridge has 314 buildings facing the 2035 net-zero deadline. “The City is committed to supporting Cambridge property owners with robust technical assistance and connections to incentives and moving forward together with this challenging yet absolutely critical work,” the news release says.
Cambridge will use a separate process to develop regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in residential buildings.