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Accelerating Residential Building Decarbonization ​

Advanced Building Construction Initiative

With growing concerns about climate change, resilience, and housing affordability, the urgency to decarbonize US residential buildings is more pressing than ever. This challenge also presents an unparalleled opportunity for innovation and market expansion in the construction industry. 

Introducing our foundational report, ‘Accelerating Residential Building Decarbonization.’ Targeted towards product manufacturers, fabricators, contractors, installers, design professionals, owners, and real estate developers, this report provides essential technical insights and cost guidance for scalable zero-carbon-aligned (ZCA)* new construction methods and retrofit solutions across various US climate regions.

Key Retrofit Findings:

  • About 90% of residential buildings need to be retrofitted in order to become ZCA, with roughly 30% requiring only appliance and mechanical system swap-outs and 60% requiring a whole-building retrofit including envelope upgrades
  • The largest regional markets for different retrofit intervention levels can be identified through findings on upgrade performance targets by climate zone and state
  • Achieving cost targets for roughly 60% of the housing stock (some 75 million units) that requires upgrades to building envelopes in addition to equipment swaps requires substantial cost compression
  • Advanced building construction (ABC) innovations present a significant market opportunity for cost-effective, timely, and scalable whole-building retrofits.

Report Summary

The report delivers high-quality data and guidance on the path to decarbonizing both new and existing residential buildings that can be used to inform the priorities of various market actors. We spotlight key segments and applications for innovative technologies and approaches, aiming to reduce the costs and accelerate the pace of building decarbonization while enhancing the overall value of the national residential building stock.  

This information serves as a springboard for the development and refinement of specific physical solutions, including construction products and assemblies, capable of delivering performance levels that support climate goals. Moreover, it informs business models that can deploy these solutions at scale, leveraging both financial and technical tools. Particularly relevant to stakeholders in the emergent ABC market, this report clarifies industry’s role in and lays a path for a more sustainable and resilient future.

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