CONSTRUCTION

Understanding and Choosing Metrics for Building Performance Standards

July 21, 2022

understanding the whitepaper
President Biden has called for net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by 2050. Accomplishing this will require increasing efficiency, vastly increasing renewable energy capacity, and transitioning from fossil fuels to clean electricity. Buildings have a critical role to play in achieving each of these objectives. This paper proposes a framework for determining which metrics are best suited for policies to move existing commercial and multifamily buildings forward on the path toward zero carbon emissions.

Choosing the right metrics is necessary for effective policies, but it is not sufficient to achieving a just and inclusive energy transition. Building performance policies — in conjunction with other complementary policies — must bring the benefits of improved performance to those living in affordable housing and historically underserved communities, and at the same time ensure that the cost of compliance does not create new burdens. Jurisdictions must consider the impact of policy decisions on
equitable outcomes, particularly with respect to establishing performance levels, options for compliance, and penalties for non-compliance.

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