News Detail

DOE Announces Definition of “Zero Emissions Building” to Advance Efforts to Decarbonize the Buildings Sector

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a “National Definition of a Zero Emissions Building” to advance public and private sector efforts to decarbonize the buildings sector, which is responsible for more than one-third of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Part 1 of the definition sets criteria for determining that a building generates zero emissions from energy use in building operations. By the definition, at a minimum, a zero emissions building must be energy efficient, free of onsite emissions from energy use, and powered solely from clean energy. DOE notes that future parts of this definition may address emissions from embodied carbon (producing, transporting, installing, and disposing of materials) and additional considerations.

Alongside the announcement, DOE also said that eight major green building certification programs in the U.S. announced they will embed or align or exceed the zero emissions definition in their certification and the federal government will use the National Definition in leasing net-zero emissions buildings, which will become the standard for federal leases beginning in 2030.

© 2024 Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance (SWACCA). All rights reserved.