Policy Solution

Energy efficient building codes

Lead by Example

Overview:

Summary: Setting more energy efficient building energy codes can drive the implementation of cooling strategies. Mechanical cooling often makes up a large portion of total building energy use. Adoption of more energy efficient designs and technologies such as passive cooling and sensor systems to measure usage can reduce overall heat gain by reducing waste heat and minimize the building's cooling load.

Implementation: Set energy performance requirements government-owned and leased buildings.

Considerations for Use: This intervention will have the greatest impact in geographies anticipating increasing or continued growth with new development. Governing authorities without sufficient capacity or authority to adopt regulations could consider voluntary requirements. Energy efficient building codes are particularly impactful in hot and humid climates where mechanical cooling makes up a significant portion of energy costs.

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

    Lead by ExampleGovernments have ownership and jurisdiction over a range of assets (e.g. buildings and streets) and also serve as a direct employer, and contractor. This allows them to promote heat risk reduction and preparedness solutions and demonstrate their impact through leading by example with proactive interventions to make their assets, employment opportunities, and contracts heat-resilient.
  • 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).

    Evaluating or initiating major city infrastructure projectsIncludes projects such as city transit, street or utilities construction / re-construction etc.
    Planned new developmentIncludes Greenfield or brownfield development or new construction
    Substantial rehabilitationIncludes the re-development or major renovation projects.
  • Intervention Type:
    Buildings and Built Form
  • Sectors:
    Buildings,

    Impact:

  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Number of complying buildings; Energy savings; Change in energy consumption

Implementation:

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