Decarbonizing the building sector will require a massive, strategic, and coordinated effort by the public and private sectors, according to a report by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).
“Human-induced climate change is a threat to human life and society, and steps must be taken across economic sectors to reduce the adverse impact of carbon and other harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” said AC Powell, president and CEO of NIBS. “Progress has been made, but there is still far to go.”
The report’s recommendations include:
- The federal government should prioritize private sector input in federal actions around decarbonization.
- The administration and federal agencies should ensure all proposed actions and mandates are working from a common definition of decarbonization, with commonly shared, publicly available data.
- Federal agencies should provide technical assistance and funding to support development of a generally accepted lifecycle approach to evaluating whole-building environmental impacts. This should include balancing operational GHG emissions and embodied carbon considerations.
- Federal, state, and local governments and the building industry should increase investment in understanding and overcoming the challenges to decarbonization posed by the existing building stock.