New Buildings Institute (NBI) has released the Existing Building Decarbonization Code. NBI bills the document as “a new way for jurisdictions to reduce carbon emissions and meet climate action plan goals and interconnected goals around public health and equity.”
New construction represents less than 2% of building activity in any given year, NBI says, “leaving a vast opportunity to update technologies in the current building stock. By requiring existing buildings to be more energy efficient, cities could cut about 30% of all urban emissions by 2050.”
NBI’s released the Building Decarbonization Code—the first off-the-shelf solution for jurisdictions to transform energy codes into decarbonization codes for new buildings—in February 2020. Expanding on that platform, the Existing Building Decarbonization Code adds provisions for existing buildings covering both residential and commercial buildings, including all-electric and mix-fuel energy use pathways.
The new code provisions have been crafted to match reasonable and effective decarbonization strategies with replacement events. The code outlines strategies to pair key opportunities to decarbonize—including change of occupancy, additions, and alterations—with additional efficiency measures.
The Existing Building Decarbonization Code also incorporates trigger events and solutions for the inclusion of grid integration measures including renewable energy production, electric vehicles, and battery storage.