Thursday 30 April 2020

Boston releases guidebook for zero emission buildings

Boston releases guidebook for zero emission buildings

Boston has published several guidelines for building developers to set them on a path to zero emission buildings (ZEB) and help the city meet its 2050 carbon-neutrality goal.

It says the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the use of electricity, heating oil, natural gas and steam in Boston's buildings account for more than two-thirds of the city's total emissions.

Some of the key recommendations of the guidebook published by the Department of Neighborhood Development include an alternative approach on buildings form, orientation and density.

It says the more complex the building's shape, the harder it is to minimise heat loss through the overall structure - a simple rectangle or cube with relatively few complex joints will retain far more heat.

In addition, by orienting their buildings carefully, professionals can reduce heating demands by as much as 40% - living spaces oriented toward the southwest enable inhabitants to use natural rather than artificial light.

In terms of density, experts suggest the denser the ZEB, the better. The more people who live in energy-efficient buildings like ZEBs, the fewer people who live in low-performance buildings. As unit density increases, the energy demand of the building also increases, but energy use per resident decreases proportionally.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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