Cutting lifetime residential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Red Zephyr Blue (RZB) HouseRead time: 25 minutes

A summary update has been provided for this note in June 2023. This summary reflects updates to this topic on the National Construction Code 2022 and BASIX.

There is an urgent need to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero or beyond within the lifetime of buildings constructed today. This note focuses on strategies and measures that help to achieve this goal in relation to residential building design, construction and initial fit-out. Many decisions are made during these phases that have substantial implications for emissions from production and supply of materials, during decades of operation and at end of life.

Emissions associated with furniture, plug-in appliances, consumables such as food, and transport are not addressed. This note complements An overview of energy, climate and resource considerations for residential appliances and equipment by Pears (2021), which provides an introductory review of the energy use and climate and resource impacts of appliances in residential buildings and factors that influence their performance.

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note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. The designer’s role in zero-emission housing
  4. Other important issues
  5. Conclusion