By 2030, cities will account for nearly three-quarters of world energy use. In most cities, buildings account for more than half of this consumption. But 75% of the urban infrastructure that will exist in 2050 has yet to be built, presenting a huge opportunity to shape more resource-efficient, healthy, low-carbon cities through better buildings.
The Buildings Initiative provides practical resources to help cities succeed with policies, technologies and innovative investment strategies to deliver better buildings, cleaner air and more efficient urban development.
Through smart planning and better design, we aim to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce buildings-related energy emissions and pollution.
In October 2014, WRI and Johnson Controls merged Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency into WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. The Buildings Initiative is a multi-year partnership and builds on the deep building efficiency expertise and experience of Johnson Controls and the track record of successful broader cities engagement at WRI.
Cooperative solutions can help overcome today’s unsustainable practices and replicate and scale successful initiatives. WRI focuses on developing those solutions, engaging with a variety of stakeholders to identify and address critical needs in partner cities that bridge market challenges and support change in the buildings sector.
The Initiative’s work also goes beyond energy efficiency to zero-carbon buildings and urban design. Today’s urban development choices could lock cities into decades of high energy demand, air pollution, water use and carbon emissions, as well as transportation challenges and unequal access to opportunity and core services.
Buildings are responsible for one-third of global energy demand and one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. This presents a major opportunity to promote sustainable energy use: global building energy demand could be reduced by one-third by 2050 if current energy efficiency best practices are implemented on a larger scale. However, institutional and behavioral roadblocks are holding the sector back.