After 19 cities signed a declaration to make all new buildings carbon neutral by 2030, the question is: How will they get there?
Part of the answer will come down to political will to withstand expected opposition from developers. To reach net-zero carbon, energy usage of buildings will have to be cut anywhere from 50% to 85%.
Stretch codes, an extra layer of local, more stringent regulations on top of the base building codes, could be used. More stringent credentials for designers, contractors, and inspectors, may also be needed.
The 2030 goal is feasible, according to an official with the Alliance to Save Energy. One example is Melbourne, Australia’s Pixel Building, the country’s first carbon-neutral building. It features colorful panels that control the amount of light coming into the building, and smart windows that allow heat to escape.