Building Energy Codes

Building energy codes represent a tremendous savings opportunity for homes and businesses around the globe. Building energy use accounts for over one-third of global energy use, and this share is growing as incomes rise and cities grow. As a result, many countries have adopted building energy codes. Building energy codes help lock in savings in new buildings and renovations by establishing rules on how to construct energy efficient buildings. Today’s codes can reduce energy use in buildings by half compared to buildings prior to codes, based on the experience in countries like China and the United States. Looking forward, many countries are developing roadmaps to work on net zero energy building codes. However, achieving these savings requires carefully planning on implementation and close coordination with stakeholders to ensure they understand the code’s benefits and provisions.

JGCRI has conducted research on building energy codes in many countries around the world. Domestically, PNNL provides technical leadership and support under the Department of Energy’s Building Energy Codes Program. Internationally, JGCRI and PNNL have collaborated with governments, cities and experts in several countries including China, India, Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine and G20 countries. Below are highlights of some of this work.

Additional journal articles:

Evans M, V Roshchanka, and P Graham.  2017.  “An International Survey of Building Energy Codes and Their Implementation.”  Journal of Cleaner Production. In Press.

Yu S, J Eom, M Evans, and LE Clarke.  2014.  “A long-term, integrated impact assessment of alternative building energy code scenarios in China.”  Energy Policy 67:626-639.  doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.009

Evans M, S Yu, B Song, Q Deng, J Liu, and A Delgado.  2014.  “Building Energy Efficiency in Rural China.”  Energy Policy 64:243-251.  doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2013.06.040

For more information on India’s building energy code, see Energy Conservation Building Code