In dense global urban landscapes such as New York City (NYC), buildings account for as much as 70% of emissions from heating, cooling and electricity use. In 2017, NYC was producing more than 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and other climate gases equivalent a year, estimates the mayor’s office. NYC — along with Toronto, Canada, Copenhagen, Denmark and Milan, Italy —was chosen by C40 Cities, a London-based NGO, to test a pilot version of a tool developed to estimate emissions, potential refits and costs. New York recently set a target to cut collective emissions from public buildings by 40% by 2025 and from private buildings by 80% by 2050. It already collects detailed data on energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, health, operations and maintenance, and employee productivity.
Applied with the help of engineering consultancy BuroHappold, the tool was pre-launched at a C40 summit in Copenhagen in October 2019 before being formally launched in early 2020 as a free and online public tool. “Ideally, we want it to be second nature to use the tool when you discuss a [deep energy retrofit] project,” says Markus Berensson, senior research manager at C40.
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