Building Performance Standards: A framework for equitable policies to address existing buildings

Building Performance Standards: A framework for equitable policies to address existing buildings
Description

Written by USDN

Introduction:

Buildings are central to people’s lives and, with the right tools, can contribute to health and resiliency benefits, as well as greenhouse gas reductions. Currently, buildings disproportionately expose people to health risks, and are very large sources of GHG emissions and energy consumption. For existing buildings, Building Performance Standard (BPS) policies have emerged as a high-impact solution to accelerate progress.

Developing a robust Building Performance Standard (BPS), and associated supporting programs, is an opportunity for local governments to reimagine the future of buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. If done correctly, a BPS can serve as a powerful cornerstone policy to meet a number of local government priorities at once: decarbonization, electrification, resilience, energy affordability, public health, inclusiveness and racial equity, economic inclusion, and more. Since many building stakeholders, city departments, and complementary programs need to come together underneath a comprehensive BPS, cities must take special care to coordinate and evaluate their decisions to ensure optimal, equitable outcomes. To do this, and to consider if this policy best serves the needs of the jurisdiction, careful, early, and iterative engagement and planning is needed.

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