Policy Solution

Building waste heat limits

Mandate

Overview:

Summary: Window AC units reject heat to the outside and can increase outdoor temperatures. Evaluating and setting a threshhold for buildings' maximum waste heat can help reduce warming emissions.

Implementation: Establish a maximum allowable building waste heat. For buildings that exceed caps, owners can be required to retrofit the building to improve ventilation or install heat recovery systems.

Considerations for Use: Building owners that do not meet allowable waste heat requirements can be pointed towards resources for retrofitting and other building improvements.

  • Policy Levers: The mechanism municipalities can use to actualize the intervention. These policy levers will likely be used in combination with each other.

    MandateMandates are government regulations that require stakeholders to meet standards through building codes, ordinances, zoning policies, or other regulatory tools.
  • Trigger Points: Opportunities for municipalities to implement risk reduction and preparedness interventions based on the policy lever, building on the United Nations Environment Programme triggers used in the Beating the Heat handbook (2021).

    City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.
    Introducing new or updated zoning/codesIncludes codes, zoning requirements or by-laws pertaining to urban planning and building construction activity.
    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Type:
    Buildings and Built Form
  • Sectors:
    Buildings,

    Impact:

  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Energy use by area, building, use, etc.

Implementation:

  • Intervention Scale:
    City
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Medium-term (3-9 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    Array
  • Funding Sources:
    Private investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High

    Benefits:

  • Cost-Benefit:
    Low
  • Public Good:
    N/A
  • GHG Reduction:
    Medium
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Save on utilities