Policy Solution

Green building and energy efficiency standards

Lead by Example

Overview:

Summary: Green building practices and energy efficiency standards improve building performance that reduce solar gains, energy consumption, and urban heat islands.

Implementation: Adopt green building or energy efficiency performance standards on all existing and/or new construction of publicly-owned properties, which can establish a baseline that can be leveraged through more stringent mandates or public pressure at a later time.

Considerations for Use: Resources associated with ratings and certifications can provide upgrade recommendations that are applicable to all buildings not only participating buildings.

  • 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).

    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:
    Property owners; Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Number and scores or levels of certification for buildings that receive ratings

Implementation:

  • Intervention Scale:
    City; State/Province; Region; Nation
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government; State/provincial government; National government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Medium-term (3-9 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    Array
  • Funding Sources:
    Public investment; Private investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High

    Benefits:

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