The analysis reported here suggests that six expanded market transformation policies in
combination with invigorated R&D could bring energy consumption and carbon emissions in the building
sector in 2025 back almost to 2004 levels. At the same time, the built environment will be meeting the
needs of an economy (and associated homes, offices, hospitals, restaurants, and factories) that will have
grown from $9.4 trillion in 2002 to $18.5 trillion in 2025.
B. Building Green and Smart in the 2050 Time Frame
Green building practices and smart growth policies could transform the
built environment by mid century.
Some of the climate friendly features of this transformed
landscape that are outlined in this report include:
building efficiency measures that dramatically reduce the energy requirements of buildings;
high performance photovoltaic panels, fuel cells, microturbines and other on site equipment that
produce more electricity and thermal energy than is required locally, making buildings net exporters
of energy, thereby transforming the entire demand and supply chain in terms of energy generation,
distribution, and end use;
higher density communities that enable high efficiency district heating and cooling;
gridded street plans and other compact and readily accessible local street systems that also enable
mass transit, and pedestrian and cyclist friendly pathways to displace other forms of travel;
parks and tree lined streets to act as carbon sinks and to mitigate the heat island effect; and
in fill and mixed use land development to shorten trip distances while reducing infrastructure
In the long run, improving the locational efficiency of communities and urban systems could
possibly have as large an impact on GHG emissions as improving the design, construction, and operation
of individual structures.
Towards a Climate Friendly