IEA EBC - Annex 89 - Ways to Implement Net-zero Whole Life Carbon Buildings

The project is focusing on the pathways and actions needed by various stakeholders and decision-makers to implement whole life cycle based net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings in policy and practice. This means explicitly considering both embodied and operational GHG emissions across all stages of the built asset life cycle – also referred to as whole life carbon (WLC) – to achieve the overarching (or ultimate) goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to limit global warming to well below 2°C, and preferably to 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels by aiming to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 latest. In this context, policies, initiatives and actions that share, support and contribute to this goal are referred to as 'Paris-goal compatible'. The project is contributing to the transition of the building and real estate sector towards net-zero whole-life carbon (NetZ-WLC) outcomes through the following work program:

  • developing guidelines and recommendations on establishing whole life carbon targets (including carbon budgets) for the building and real estate sector at various scales and perspectives and identifying critical carbon reduction pathways and actions;
  • establishing Paris-goal compatible assessment frameworks and evaluating the suitability and application(s) of different assessment methods to achieve NetZ-WLC buildings at various scales;
  • mapping and assessing the relevance and effectiveness of a range of tools, aids and instruments available to different stakeholders in their decision-making contexts and objective(s);
  • understanding the conditions that are conducive for in-practice uptake and more effective implementation of context-based solutions and actions by key stakeholders; and
  • ensuring efficient and effective engagement and knowledge exchange with diverse stakeholder groups and disseminating project outputs that maximise opportunities to 'get it to the ground' from local to global scale.

There is a critical and urgent need to effectively implement science-based targets, assessment methods, and solutions into policy and practice to enable a broad range of stakeholders and key decision-makers across the world to promote and support the delivery of NetZ-WLC buildings at speed and at scale.

Annex Info & Contact

Status: Ongoing (2023 - 2027)

Operating Agent

Prof. Alexander Passer
Institute of Structural Design
Graz University of Technology



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