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A Common Language for CO 2 performance of Buildings. Dr Rajat Gupta Consultant, UNEP-SBCI [email protected] Buildings Under UNFCCC Flexible Mechanisms 14 th March 2011, Bonn, Germany. Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative United Nations Environment Programme www.unep.org/sbci.

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a common language for co 2 performance of buildings

A Common Language for CO2 performance of Buildings

Dr Rajat Gupta

Consultant, UNEP-SBCI

[email protected]

Buildings Under UNFCCC Flexible Mechanisms14th March 2011, Bonn, Germany

Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative

United Nations Environment Programme




Sustainable Building Index
  • SC Members: The SC shall be a balanced multi-stakeholder committee consisting of eleven UNEP-SBCI Members representing a balance of industry interests designated according to the following seats:
  • Coordinator (0) (occupied by SBCI staff);
  • Sponsor (1) (occupied by SC Sponsor);
  • Research Institution (2);
  • Not-for-Profit (2);
  • Private Sector (2);
  • Product Manufacturer (2);
  • Local Government (1); and
  • National Government (1).
  • *The SC shall have balanced representation from developing and developed countries.

Seat (S)

Vice Chair (VC)

SBCI Donor (D)

SBCI Coordinator (C)

Steering Committee (SC)

Sustainable Buildings (SB)

SBCI Board of Directors (Board)

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

Appliance standards, Taxation

Energy performance contracting

Mandatory auditing Tax exemtions

Public benefit charges CDM Cap and Trade

Building codes

Negotiated agreements Utility DSM

Cooperative procurement Detailed billing

Labelling White certificates

Information `Public leadership programs

Subsidies& grants

  • Policy Approaches
common carbon metric
Common Carbon Metric

Standardization of building Indicators, Metrics, & Protocol: Establishing Energy Performance and GHG emissions Baselines

Use per m2

Use per occupant

Baseline Performance

Target Performance

Energy use in kWh

By Region

Climate performance data need to follow consistent definitions and protocols to be comparable.

Definitions and protocols applied for data collection need to be universally applicable regardless of the type and location of the buildings.

Definitions and protocols need to be applicable at the individual building level, as well as at aggregated levels at city, regional or national level.

Definitions and protocols need to be practical and account for data gaps and weak data quality.


The Common Carbon Metric (CCM)

Measuring Energy Use & Reporting GHG Emissions from Building Operations



Emissions (equivalent (e))



The Metric
  • A methodology used to define buildings climate impact
  • Consistent with principles and standards for environmental performance assessments (ISO standards and WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas protocol)
  • Meets the requirements that reporting is measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV)
  • Allows for bottom-up, and top-down data compilation
CCM methodology
  • Top-down approach: Performance of the whole (regional, city or national level) is characterized at a coarse level using estimated data on fuel and electricity consumption.
  • Bottom-up approach: Performance of individual case-study buildings is characterized at a fine level using measured data on fuel and electricity consumption. Ideally sample size will be statistically valid, enabling verification of the whole.
CCM Phase I
    • First draft of the CCM was released at COP15 in Copenhagen in December 2009
    • Implementation of CCM was launched on 19 May 2010 in Paris through a pilot phase (Phase 1) to:
      • Road-test the methodology in an Excel-based platform (Nine participants)
      • Coordinated stakeholder review (19 organisations)
  • This helped to:
      • Uncover practical issues surrounding the implementation of the CCM
      • Develop consensus methodologies for unresolved aspects of assessing building performance
      • Prioritize areas for future research
CCM Phase I Pilot

Nine participants

  • Performance metrics computed for a total of:
    • 49 individual buildings (total area: 1.48 km2)
    • 5 larger stocks (or Wholes) (total area: 176.60 km2)
CCM Phase I Pilot

Performance of a building stock at the city level

Red cells indicate that average performance of a set of buildings of a given building type, as measured through the bottom-up approach, is worse than the performance of the whole’s non-residential building stock.

CCM Phase I Pilot

Performance baselines of a single building type

CCM Phase I Pilot

Performance baselines for multiple building types

CCM Phase I Pilot

Key outcomes

Developing consensus-based definitions

CCM Phase I Pilot

Key outcomes

Categories of building types

CCM Phase I Pilot

Key outcomes


CCM Phase I Pilot

Key outcomes

Normalizing energy performance using climate data

Next steps: CCM Phase II

Preview of changes: technical additions

  • Expanded list of residential and non-residential building types based on UNFCCC’s building categorizations.
  • Normalize building performance by degree day information.
  • Use custom emission factors in addition to the default IPCC and IEA emission factors as defaults.
  • Input electricity consumption data by month through the top-down and bottom-up approaches.
  • Input information on multiple fuels for the same building.
  • Record the year of last building retrofit.
  • Record amount of purchased green power or amount of renewable energy generated on-site and returned to the grid.
Next steps: CCM Phase II

Preview of changes: improvement in functionality

  • Implementation of CCM through an Open-access web-based tool with the ability to:
    • Track the performance of the same building sets over time.
    • Create inventories for building sets stretching across different cities/regions, including inventories at the national level.
    • Compare regions of similar climates but different emission factors.
    • Reports could still be created in standardised format such as Excel.
Next steps: CCM Phase II

Preview of changes: Phase IIPilot testing

  • Pilot with 20-40 cities or organisations with large portfolio of buildings
  • Encompass locations in different climate zones and in both developing and developed countries
  • Timeline of activities:
    • Refine scope and identify participants (Feb - May 2011)
    • Technical additions and Pilot (May - Oct 2011)
    • Report-writing. CCM 2012 version for measurement and reporting related to national and international carbon credit initiatives (Oct 2011- May 2012)
Common metrics

1. Benchmarking

2. Baselines

3. Monetization


Source: World Green Building Council

Common metrics

Stakeholders Galvanize Around Tools

Benchmarking: labeling & ratings

Stakeholders = Designers, Owners, Tenants

Baselines: targets & regulation

Stakeholders= Policy Makers, Shareholders

Monetization: rebates & incentives

Stakeholders= Investors, Financiers, Real-estate


Source: World Green Building Council

Next Steps
  • The Common Carbon Metric offers a common and widely agreed corner stone for international policy making on climate mitigation in the building sector.
  • WGBC, SBA & UNEP working through harmonisation issues.
  • Phase II Pilot is being planned.