With buildings accounting for upwards of 40% of all energy used and a third of greenhouse gas emissions globally, developing approaches to reduce GHGs from them is critical to meeting climate objectives. A new standard from the ISO is expected to help on that front.
ISO 16745 Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works – Carbon metric of an existing building during use stage, Parts 1 and 2 provides a set of methods used to calculate, report and verify emissions from the operation of buildings.
“At a time when global warming is becoming more and more evident, with its devastating effects on the entire planet, having a tool to measure the carbon footprint left by buildings is of utmost importance. ISO 16745 will bring a response to the expectations of all,” said Jacques Lair, chair of the ISO subcommittee that developed the standard.
Measuring and reporting GHG emissions from existing buildings is critical to enable significant and cost-effective GHG mitigation, said the ISO. Until now though, there hasn’t been a globally agreed method to measure, report and verify potential emissions reductions from existing buildings in a consistent and comparable way.
The standard could be used as a universal tool for measuring and reporting GHG emissions, providing the foundation for accurate performance baselines of buildings to be drawn, national targets to be set and carbon trading to occur on a level playing field.
ISO 16745 aims to be practical not only for the building profession, but for many stakeholders who are expected to use the carbon metric of a building as reference for decision making in their business activities, governmental policies and as a baseline for benchmarking. The simplicity of its approach means it is applicable at all scales, from cities and building portfolios to individual buildings.