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Energy and Material Efficiency in Carbon Smart Buildings

At the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018, governments from around the region, state, and world issued commitments to carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier. What implications does this have for the built environment, existing energy efficiency goals, and local building codes? The final BayREN forum of 2018 examined the definition of “zero net carbon,” (ZNC) as well as how local governments can set policies for efficiency in energy and material use to achieve a ZNC built environment. The forum covered growing considerations in efficient design, energy use, and retrofits, enabling cities to go beyond incremental energy savings to achieve bold carbon neutrality targets. It introduced concepts of lifecycle carbon emissions from both operational and embodied energy usage, the importance of addressing materials in order to achieve the immediate emission reductions that are necessary, and local government policy tools.