3.2 New Buildings (Ch. 10)

New buildings constructed today can be expected to remain in use until well beyond 2050. As a result, thoughtful decisions now can have a significant impact on reducing the carbon footprint of buildings for decades to come rather than locking in carbon emissions that will make it difficult to achieve the DDPP goals for carbon reduction. Buildings use about 40% of energy produced in the United States and are responsible for about 30% of the nation’s CO2 emissions, making carbon emissions from buildings a priority for carbon reduction. Fortunately, substantial progress has been made in making new buildings more energy efficient, and the technology that would allow for major additional reductions is available. While this progress is important, much more needs to be done in the new building sector to reach the DDPP goals for carbon reduction. The chapter discusses the changes that need to occur and sets out recommendations to help accomplish the carbon reduction goals.