D. Regional Markets for Best Practices 
The opportunities and drivers for widespread adoption of aggressive
climate friendly building goals vary greatly across different economic condi 
tions and climatic regions of the country.
In the residential sector, significant opportunities
for climate friendly homes and communities are in the growth areas of the West, Southwest, and Southeast.
These regions have particularly large peak electricity requirements for cooling. Improvements in the design of
subdivisions for optimal building orientation, shading for passive solar heating and cooling, and efficient
building shells, windows, cooling systems, and appliances are the key to reducing energy consumption. These
regions also have the best solar resources and greatest opportunities for building integrated photovoltaic and
solar hot water systems to meet a large fraction of the remaining energy demand. 
The heating demands in the colder northern plains, Northeast, and upper Midwest are primarily
provided by natural gas. However, several of these areas also have summer peaking demands for cooling
and dehumidification. Efficient building shells, HVAC systems, and appliances are the key to reducing
building energy consumption in these regions. Opportunities for photovoltaic, solar heating, and combined
heat and power systems are capable of meeting the remaining energy loads for individual homes and
communitywide systems. 
E. The Technical and Economic Potential for GHG Reductions 
Based on current usage of building products and practices, most owners
and occupants could significantly improve the energy efficiency of their
HVAC equipment, appliances, and lighting systems currently on the market vary from 
20 percent to more than 100 percent efficient (heat pumps can exceed this level by using  free  thermal
energy drawn from the air, water, and ground). Only 40 percent of residences are well insulated, and less
than 40 percent of new window sales are of advanced types (e.g., low E). In commercial buildings, only 
17 percent of all windows are advanced types. Only 30 percent of commercial buildings have roof insula 
tion and somewhat fewer have insulated walls. Nationally, reflective roofing materials still comprise less
than 10 percent of the roofing market; asphalt comprises 95 percent of urban pavements despite its high
heat absorption (compared with concrete), which contributes to the urban heat island effect. Design tools
for energy efficiency are used by fewer than 2 percent of the professionals involved in the design,
Towards a Climate Friendly  
Built Environment

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