WEO Week: Sectoral transitions to new energy industries

Building envelopes

The majority of countries in the world lack mandatory building energy codes, meaning billions of square meters without mandatory performance requirements are added to the buildings stock each year.

Building Envelopes Jpg

Key findings

Factors influencing residential buildings energy use, 2015-2018


Structural changes are outpacing efficiency gains for residential buildings

In residential buildings, structural changes have consistently matched or outpaced efficiency gains since 2014. These include increased device ownership and use and a significant growth in average per-capita residential floor area in all economies.

Global building construction area by type of building code in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2019-2030


Countries must move towards mandatory building energy codes

Almost two-thirds of countries lacked mandatory building energy codes in 2019, meaning more than 5 billion m2 were built last year without mandatory performance requirements. To be in line with the SDS by 2030: all countries need to establish mandatory building energy codes; new high-performance construction needs to increase from around 275 million m2 to cover almost 5 billion m2; and energy intensity reductions currently effectuated by energy-efficiency renovations of existing building stock must double from 15% to at least 30 50%.
Our work

The EBC TCP, created in 1977, carries out research and development efforts towards near-zero energy and carbon emissions in the built environment. Activities under the EBC TCP focus on the integration of energy-efficient and sustainable technologies into healthy buildings and communities.

The DHC TCP conducts research and development as well as policy analysis and international co-operation to increase the market penetration of district heating and cooling systems with low environmental impact.

The HPT TCP functions as an international framework of co-operation and knowledge exchange for the different stakeholders in the field of heat pumping technologies used for heating, cooling, air-conditioning and refrigeration in buildings, industries, thermal grids and other applications. The mission of the HPT TCP is to accelerate the transformation to an efficient, renewable, clean and secure energy sector in its member countries and beyond through collaboration research, demonstration and data collection and through enabling innovations and deployment in the area of heat pumping technologies.

Established in 1993, the PVPS TCP supports international collaborative efforts to enhance the role of photovoltaic solar energy (PV) as a cornerstone in the transition to sustainable energy systems. The PVPS TCP seeks to serve as a global reference for policy and industry decision makers; to act as an impartial and reliable source of information on trends, markets and costs; and to provide meaningful guidelines and recommended practices for state-of-the-art PV applications.

Through multi-disciplinary international collaborative research and knowledge exchange, as well as market and policy recommendations, the SHC TCP works to increase the deployment rate of solar heating and cooling systems by breaking down the technical and non-technical barriers to increase deployment.