Technology research, development, deployment, diffusion and transfer
Although many practical and cost-effective technologies and practices are available today, research and development is needed in such areas as: high-performance control systems; advanced window glazing; new materials for insulated panels; various systems to utilize passive and other renewable energy sources; phase-change materials to increase thermal storage; high-performance ground-source reversible heat pumps; integrated appliances and other equipment to use waste heat; novel cooling technologies, and the use of community-wide networks to supply heating, cooling and electricity to buildings. Demonstrations of these technologies and systems, and training of professionals, are necessary steps toward bringing those new technologies to market [6.8.3].
Long-term GHG reduction in buildings needs to start soon because of the slow turnover of the building stock. To achieve large-scale savings in new buildings in the longer term, new approaches to integrated design and operation of buildings need to be taught, spread, and put into large-scale practice as soon as possible. Such training is currently not available for the majority of professionals in the building industry. Because of the important role of non-technological opportunities in buildings, ambitious GHG reductions may require a cultural shift towards a society that embraces climate protection and sustainable development among its fundamental values, leading to social pressure for building construction and use with much reduced environmental footprints (high agreement, medium evidence) [6.4.1; 6.8.1].