A New Coalition Takes Aim at Emissions from Existing Buildings

Published by Architectural Record: At the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting, held earlier this month in Washington, D.C., President Biden announced a new collaboration with state and local governments to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment. Known as the Building Performance Standards Coalition, participating jurisdictions include the states of Washington and Colorado and 31 cities. Encompassing such major population centers as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, coalition members represent nearly 20 percent of the nation’s building stock, or about 15 billion square feet of floor space.

The program is intended to jump start development of building performance standards (BPS)—policies establishing specific performance levels that existing buildings must meet, explains Kim Cheslak, Director of Codes at New Buildings Institute, a nonprofit focused on decarbonizing the built environment. BPS programs are distinct from, but can complement codes, which apply to new construction or significant renovations.

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