Annex 89 Subtasks


Subtask 1: Planetary Boundaries and Decarbonisation Pathways 

The primary aim of this subtask is to develop guidelines and recommendations on establishing 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. 

The Paris-goal compatible GHG budget of about 500GT to limit global warming may change for a specified or target time period if key assumptions are not achieved (for example, the timing of global peaking). Furthermore, the allocation or distribution of the global carbon budget to different countries, economies and industry sectors require careful considerations of a range of complex factors, including those related to socio-economic equity and social justice issues.

We will apply the performance concept (Foliente 2000; Foliente et al. 2005) – focusing on the required performance (the ‘outcome’), rather than the solution (the ‘means’) – at various geographic scales and decision levels (e.g., government, firms, households, individuals) to facilitate and support context-based innovative solutions that meet carbon and certain social justice objectives throughout the buildings’ life cycle. The specific objectives of ST1 are to:

  • assess the role and implications of science-based carbon targets and budgets that are compatible with planetary boundaries to the building and real estate sector, and identify and evaluate inter-jurisdictional, industry, government and research efforts on decarbonisation pathways considering climate change mitigation and adaptation (within carbon budgets) and key social justice objectives;
  • develop guidelines for different countries and jurisdictions how to set practical carbon targets and budgets for sections of the construction and real estate sector and how to determine carbon reduction paths and actions (e.g., driving policy, establishing legal and/or procurement requirements, stimulating investments and innovation, etc); and
  • identify outstanding R&D challenges and opportunities (i.e., a research agenda) to guide further research efforts and investments to support the next-stage implementation of decarbonisation pathways for the building and real estate sector to achieve the ultimate intent of the Paris Agreement.

Subtask 2: Paris-goal compatible assessment methods 

This subtask aims to establish frameworks for whole life carbon assessment (including LCA) methods, GHG emissions and carbon dioxide removal (negative emissions) calculation approaches in view of NetZ-WLC. Focus will be given to both standardized and non-standardized LCA approaches typically adopted for addressing NetZ-WLC and the balance of positive and negative emissions. The framework shall encompass the relationship between assessment methods at the macro-economic level and at the building level and will rely on the guidelines agreed upon and published by IEA EBC Annex 72 and others as a starting point. 

The specific objectives of ST2 are to:

  • investigate if existing (standardized and non-standardized) LCA methods are in alignment with science-based carbon targets and budgets as specified in ST1; 
  • evaluate the assessment methods proposed or required by current climate policies, aiming to check their compatibility with meeting the science-based carbon targets and budgets; 
  • investigate the awareness of key design decision-makers and clients on different LCA methods, to assess feasibility of application of Paris goal compatible methods in day-to-day practice.

Subtask 3: Enabling tools and instruments

This subtask aims to identify and structure existing tools and instruments for effective NetZ-WLC implementation. These will include different types of intervention schemes, guidelines and aids (inventories and databases of materials, products, elements, buildings), benchmarks, digital tools and platforms, among others, which may be variously classified as “carrots, sticks or tambourines” (Foliente and Seo 2012). 

To identify the most promising examples, current and proposed tools and instruments will be evaluated regarding their relevance and effectiveness to support key stakeholders in their decision-making objective(s). Focus will be given on NetZ-WLC-specific methodological aspects, adjusted/adjustable to different implementation contexts and local specifics. Special emphasis will be placed on low threshold/high ceiling solutions. 

The specific objectives of ST3 are to:

  • develop a classification system of existing and emerging tools/instruments and assess them against their relevance and effectiveness in supporting a Paris-goal compatible implementation path to NetZ-WLC buildings (of various types and in different contexts), highlighting best practice examples,
  • clarify the effort, processes, challenges and opportunities involved in assembling and adjusting the different tools and instruments into a coherent toolkit to support decarbonisation at pace and scale in different regions;
  • provide directions in the further development of enabling instruments for more efficient and effective implementation of Paris-goal compatible methods and solutions.

Subtask 4: In-practice uptake of NetZ-WLC initiatives

The aim of ST4 is to support the in-practice uptake of NetZ-WLC solutions by developing a better understanding of the conditions within which this happens most effectively, considering different regional needs and contexts. The scope relevant for the subtask encompasses regulation, planning, procurement and industry initiatives that are relevant to single building or development projects as well as the building stock, including both new construction and renovations. 

The specific objectives of ST4 are to:

  • learn from socio-technical analysis of the real-world implementation of NetZ-WLC building designs, assessment schemes and other initiatives for new construction and renovation. To extend this out from the individual initiatives to include an analysis of the country-specific stakeholders and the regulatory, financial and organisational context;
  • assess the general applicability and upscaling potential of the implementation examples to other contexts, both within the same nation, and other countries, by considering national construction practices and cultures, regulatory, financial and organisational contexts, and also the regional/international socio-economic needs and climatic conditions;
  • provide recommendations for improved implementation and integration of NetZ-WLC building designs and assessment schemes in multiple different contexts.

Subtask 5: Communication and Dissemination 

This subtask: (a) coordinates the activities of Subtasks ST1 to ST4 to ensure harmony and to maximise their synergies to achieve the overall Annex 89 objectives, and (b) supports the other subtasks in stakeholder engagement, communication and dissemination of the results achieved.


Subtask leaders and co-leaders:

Subtask 1: Greg Foliente, Australia.

Subtask 2: Marcella Saade, Austria, and Vanessa Gomes, Brazil.

Subtask 3: Maria Balouktsi, Denmark and Bernardette Soust-Verdaguer, Spain.

Subtask 4: Freja Nygaard Rasmussen, Norway, and Alice Moncaster, United Kingdom.

Subtask 5: Alexander Passer, Austria, with Thomas Lützkendorf, Germany, and Rolf Frischknecht, Switzerland.


Annex Info & Contact

Status: Ongoing (2023 - 2027)

Operating Agent

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