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Decarbonizing Boston Buildings


In October of 2019, Boston released its Climate Action Plan Update. Building owners & operators can expect green building zone requirements to be strengthened, existing buildings over 35,000 square feet will be required to comply with a carbon emissions performance standard, and deep retrofits will likely be necessary for buildings in the commercial sector.

for new construction, building developers can expect a strengthening of the city’s green building zone requirements. For existing buildings over 35,000 square feet, compliance with a carbon emissions performance standard will be required. Boston’s Seven Strategies for Building Decarbonization include:

  1. Zero net carbon standard for new municipal construction
  2. Zero net carbon standard for city-funded affordable housing
  3. Strengthening of the city’s green building zoning requirements to zero net carbon standard
  4. Energy efficiency and renewable energy investments for municipal buildings
  5. Carbon emissions performance standard for privately owned buildings
  6. Workforce development programs to support building decarbonization
  7. Advocacy for statewide building standards aligned with achieving carbon neutrality by 2050

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