Laurie Mazur, editor of the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, examines the world’s first global building standard for zero-net-carbon buildings and structures, in a contributed piece for Multifamily Executive:

An initiative of the nonprofit organization Architecture 2030, ZERO Code is the first global standard for buildings that produce no net greenhouse gas emissions. By adopting the new standard, local jurisdictions, builders, and architects can improve their bottom lines and the health of the planet at the same time.

ZERO Code starts with state-of-the-art, cost-effective energy-efficiency standards for new commercial, institutional, and mid- to high-rise residential buildings. It then takes those standards a step further by specifying the source of energy for these high-performance buildings: on- or off-site renewable energy. By integrating efficiency and renewables, the code achieves the holy grail of sustainability—zero-net-carbon buildings…

The code includes prescriptive and performance paths for building energy-efficiency compliance, based on current standards that are widely used by municipalities and building professionals worldwide—ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 and higher. These standards call for energy-saving building envelopes, daylighting, passive cooling and heating, and efficient systems and controls.

“These efficiency standards have been thoroughly vetted by the industry," says Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, “so there's no need to reinvent that wheel.”

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