Energy efficient building codes
Setting more energy efficient building energy codes can drive the implementation of cooling strategies. Mechanical cooling often makes up a large portion of total building energy use. Adoption of more energy efficient designs and technologies such as passive cooling and sensor systems to measure usage can reduce overall heat gain by reducing waste heat and minimize the building’s cooling load.
Incentivize property owners and developments to meet more stringent (also known as “stretch”) energy codes through property tax rebates, expedited permitting, and technical training.
Considerations for Use
This intervention will have the greatest impact in geographies anticipating increasing or continued growth with new development. Governing authorities without sufficient capacity or authority to adopt regulations could consider voluntary requirements. Energy efficient building codes are particularly impactful in hot and humid climates where mechanical cooling makes up a significant portion of energy costs.
Climate:Cold, Hot/Dry, Hot/Humid, Temperate
Policy Levers:IncentiveFinancial and non-financial incentives to encourage stakeholders to implement heat risk reduction and preparedness solutions, including rebates, tax credits, expedited permitting, development/zoning bonuses, and more.
Trigger Points:City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.Introducing new or updated zoning/codesIncludes codes, zoning requirements or by-laws pertaining to urban planning and building construction activity.No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
Intervention Types:Buildings and Built Form
Sectors:Buildings, Public Works
Target Beneficiaries:Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
Phase of Impact:Risk reduction and mitigation
Metrics:Change in energy consumption, Energy savings, Number of complying buildings
Authority and Governance:City government
Implementation Timeline:Short-term (1-2 Years)
Implementation Stakeholders:City government, Private developers, Property owners and managers
Funding Sources:Public investment
Capacity to Act:High, Medium
Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Co-benefits (Social/Economic):Save on utilities