IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

Chapter 6: Residential and commercial[1] buildings


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Trends in buildings sector emissions

6.3 Scenarios of carbon emissions resulting from energy use in buildings

6.4 GHG mitigation options in buildings and equipment

6.4.1 Overview of energy efficiency principles

6.4.2 Thermal envelope

6.4.3 Heating systems

6.4.4 Cooling and cooling loads

6.4.5 Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems

6.4.6 Building energy management systems (BEMS)

6.4.7 Active collection and transformation of solar energy

6.4.8 Domestic hot water

6.4.9 Lighting systems

6.4.10 Daylighting

6.4.11 Household appliances, consumer electronics and office equipment

6.4.12 Supermarket refrigeration systems

6.4.13 Energy savings through retrofits

6.4.14 Trade-offs between embodied energy and operating energy

6.4.15 Trade-offs involving energy-related emissions and halocarbon emissions

6.4.16 Summary of mitigation options in buildings

6.5 Potential for and costs of greenhouse gas mitigation in buildings

6.5.1 Recent advances in potential estimations from around the world

6.5.2 Recent advances in estimating the costs of GHG mitigation in buildings

6.5.3 Supply curves of conserved carbon dioxide

6.5.4 Most attractive measures in buildings

6.5.5 Energy and cost savings through use of the Integrated Design Process (IDP)

6.6 Co-benefits of GHG mitigation in the residential and commercial sectors

6.6.1 Reduction in local/regional air pollution

6.6.2 Improved health, quality of life and comfort

6.6.3 Improved productivity

6.6.4 Employment creation and new business opportunities

6.6.5 Improved social welfare and poverty alleviation

6.6.6 Energy security

6.6.7 Summary of co-benefits

6.7 Barriers to adopting building technologies and practices that reduce GHG emissions

6.7.1 Limitations of the traditional building design process and fragmented market structure

6.7.2 Misplaced incentives

6.7.3 Energy subsidies, non-payment and theft

6.7.4 Regulatory barriers

6.7.5 Small project size, transaction costs and perceived risk

6.7.6 Imperfect information

6.7.7 Culture, behaviour, lifestyle and the rebound effect

6.7.8 Other barriers

6.8 Policies to promote GHG mitigation in buildings

6.8.1 Policies and programmes aimed at building construction, retrofits, and installed equipment and systems

6.8.2 Policies and programmes aimed at appliances, lighting and office/consumer plug loads

6.8.3 Cross-cutting policies and programmes that support energy efficiency and/or CO2 mitigation in buildings

6.8.4 Policies affecting non-CO2 gases

6.8.5 Policy options for GHG abatement in buildings: summary and conclusion

6.9 Interactions of mitigation options with vulnerability, adaptation and sustainable development

6.9.1 Interactions of mitigation options with vulnerability and adaptation

6.9.2 Synergies with sustainability in developing countries

6.10 Critical gaps in knowledge


Coordinating Lead Authors:

Mark Levine (USA), Diana Ürge-Vorsatz (Hungary)

Lead Authors:

Kornelis Blok (The Netherlands), Luis Geng (Peru), Danny Harvey (Canada), Siwei Lang (China), Geoffrey Levermore (UK),

Anthony Mongameli Mehlwana (South Africa), Sevastian Mirasgedis (Greece), Aleksandra Novikova (Russia), Jacques Rilling (France), Hiroshi Yoshino (Japan)

Contributing Authors:

Paolo Bertoldi (Italy), Brenda Boardman (UK), Marilyn Brown (USA), Suzanne Joosen (The Netherlands), Phillipe Haves (USA),

Jeff Harris (USA), Mithra Moezzi (USA)

Review Editors:

Eberhard Jochem (Germany), Huaqing Xu (PR China)

This chapter should be cited as:

Levine, M., D. Ürge-Vorsatz, K. Blok, L. Geng, D. Harvey, S. Lang, G. Levermore, A. Mongameli Mehlwana, S. Mirasgedis, A. Novikova, J. Rilling, H. Yoshino, 2007: Residential and commercial buildings. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

  1. ^ The category of non-residential buildings is referred to by different names in the literature, including commercial, tertiary, public, office, and municipal. In this chapter we consider all non-domestic residential buildings under the “commercial” sector.