HPAC Magazine

ASHRAE Issues New Position Document

July 12, 2022 | By Logan Caswell

The document aims at achieving a reduction in emissions through the renovation of existing building stock and improvements to new building designs.


ASHRAE has issued a position document on building decarbonization and its role on mitigating the negative carbon impact of buildings on the environment.

The ASHRAE Position Document on Building Decarbonization aims at achieving a reduction in emissions through the renovation of existing building stock and improvements to new building designs.

ASHRAE’s position is that decarbonization of buildings and its systems must be based on a holistic analysis including healthy, safe, and comfortable environments, energy efficiency, environmental impacts, sustainability, operational security and economics.

By 2030, ASHRAE wishes to see the following positions and recommendations:

  • All new buildings are net-zero GHG emissions in operation,
  • Widespread energy efficiency retrofit of existing assets are well underway, and
  • Embodied carbon of new construction is reduced by at least 40%.

Additional positions and recommendations include:

  • Increasing stringency and enforcement of energy codes are critical for decarbonization.
  • Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment must be considered in future building codes to reduce embodied and operational GHG emissions related to buildings and their HVAC&R systems.
  • Building Performance Standards (BPS) should be considered as a policy tool for existing building decarbonization.
  • Decarbonization policies must contemplate and mitigate impacts on disadvantaged communities and less-developed nations.
  • Building decarbonization strategies and policies must consider healthy, safe, and comfortable environments; environmental and social impacts; sustainability; resilience; and economics.
  • Promote research and development of heat pump technology.
  • Support the development, update, and adoption of relevant standards and guidelines that facilitate the whole life reduction of GHG emissions from new and existing buildings.
  • Encourage greater collaboration and the development of standards and guidelines among the energy, transportation and building sectors to improve secure building-grid integration, data communication, and optimization of energy performance (generation, use and storage).
  • Work in partnership with industry to increase the capacity and opportunities for a skilled workforce supporting building decarbonization.

For more information, visit ashrae.org/decarb.



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