Canadian Consulting Engineer

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ASHRAE and ICC to develop whole-life carbon standard for buildings

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The goal is to provide consistent procedures and data.

ASHRAE and ICC

Logos courtesy ASHRAE and ICC.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning (ASHRAE) and the International Code Council (ICC) are jointly developing a new standard to assess carbon emissions across a building’s entire life cycle.

“Buildings and the construction sector are responsible for about 40% of total CO2 emissions globally,” says Dominic Sims, CEO of ICC. “The proposed standard will be essential toward reducing this impact and adapting to an ever-changing climate. As energy codes continue to deliver increased reductions in buildings’ operational energy use, a holistic approach is essential.”

The proposed ASHRAE/ICC Standard 240P, Evaluating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Carbon Emissions in Building Design, Construction and Operation, will offer a whole-life approach to measuring, verifying and reducing buildings’ emissions. The goal is to provide consistent procedures and data to be referenced by policies, codes and other standards addressing the performance of both new and existing buildings.

“There is growing demand around the world for decarbonization guidance that acknowledges the impact of carbon emissions from the beginning of the construction phase to demolition and accounts for changes in building operation and performance over time,” says Farooq Mehboob, ASHRAE’s president. “This proposed standard will offer a comprehensive structure for evaluating energy use and supporting GHG emission reductions, as well as serving as a keystone towards harmonizing guidance within the global marketplace.”

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The proposed standard will cover all buildings with a calculation methodology for net-zero operations and for emissions associated with both on-site and off-site material, energy and carbon flows, along with embodied emissions of materials and systems.

As co-sponsors, the two organizations have issued a call for new committee members to develop the standard. Those interested in getting involved can find more information here; applications are due by Sept. 26.

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