The energy services required by residential, commercial and industrial
buildings produce approximately 43% of U.S. CO
Additional GHG emis
sions result from the manufacture of building materials and products, the transport of construction and
demolition materials, and the increased passenger and freight transportation associated with urban
sprawl. As a result, an effective U.S. climate change strategy must consider options for reducing the GHG
emissions associated with how buildings are constructed, used, and located.
Homes, offices, and factories rarely incorporate the full complement of cost effective climate
friendly technologies and smart growth principles, despite the sizeable costs that inefficient and environ
mentally insensitive designs impose on consumers and the nation. To significantly reduce GHG emissions
from the building sector, an integrated approach is needed one that coordinates across technical and
policy solutions, integrating engineering approaches with architectural design, considering design deci
sions within the realities of building operation, integrating green building with smart growth concepts,
and taking into account the timing of policy impacts and technology advances.
A. Technology Opportunities in the 2005 to 2025 Time Frame
In the short run, numerous green products and technologies could
significantly reduce GHG emissions from buildings, assuming vigorous
encouragement from market transforming policies such as expanded versions
of the six deployment policies studied here.
In the coming decade, given the durable
nature of buildings, the potential for GHG reductions resides mostly with the existing building stock and
existing technologies. Some of the numerous promising off the shelf technologies and practices outlined
in this report include reflective roof products, low E coating for windows, the salvage and reuse of
materials from demolished buildings, natural ventilation and air conditioning systems that separately
manage latent and sensible heat, smart HVAC control systems, and variable speed air handlers.
Towards a Climate Friendly