A new building construction code, which integrates cost-effective energy efficiency standards with on-site and/or off-site renewable energy resulting in Zero-Net-Carbon (ZNC) buildings has been introduced.
The world is currently undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in human history with two thirds of the expected population of 10 billion will live in cities by 2060.
By 2060, the world is projected to add 230 billion m2 (2.5 trillion ft2) of buildings, or an area equal to the entire current global building stock.
In order to achieve the target set by the Paris Agreement – to limit the rise in global average temperature to below the 2 ° C threshold – all new construction must be designed to high energy efficiency standards and use no CO2-emitting fossil fuel energy to operate; by 2050 the entire built environment must be carbon neutral.
The ZERO Code is a step towards eliminating CO2 emissions fromcommercial, insitutional and residentialnew building operations.
The ZERO 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) and is supported by compliance tools and simulation software.
While the ZERO Code incorporates the latest ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 requirements for minimum building efficiency, other existing or new prescriptive and performance standards can also be accommodated, such as the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), ASHRAE Standard 189.1-2017, or any building energy efficiency standards that are more stringent than ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016.
The ZERO Code offers code adaptable language and a flexible approach for incorporating renewable energy, both through on-site generation and/or off-site procurement. By establishing a flexible approach, the ZERO Code is applicable to all new commercial and institutional buildings, and mid- to high-rise housing, including buildings with limited on-site renewable energy generating capacity (e.g. buildings in dense urban environments).
The ZERO Code is supported by software that eases the implementation process and reduces errors when applying the prescriptive compliance path. An Application Program Interface (API) for the software has been developed, enabling the software to be implemented as a website or an application for smart phones and tablets. Ultimately this approach will save years and valuable resources that would otherwise be spent on developing new compliance tools and mechanisms.