Zero emissions

Proposed Standard Targets Whole-Life Carbon Emissions

ASHRAE, ICC standard to assess carbon emissions across a building’s entire life cycle.   September 9, 2022

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

ASHRAE and the International Code Council recently announced joint development of a standard to assess carbon emissions across the entire building life cycle. Proposed ASHRAE/ICC Standard 240P - Evaluating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Carbon Emissions in Building Design, Construction and Operation, will provide a whole-life carbon approach to support emissions reductions in buildings. 

The proposed standard establishes methods to measure and verify the greenhouse gas (GHG) and carbon emissions of a building or group of buildings over the entire life cycle. The goal is to provide consistent procedures and data to be referenced by policies, codes, and other standards that address new and existing building performance. 

“Buildings and the building construction sector are responsible for about 40 percent of total CO2 emissions globally. As energy codes continue to deliver increased reductions in building operational energy use, a holistic approach that addresses the entire building life cycle is essential,” says Dominic Sims, code council chief executive officer. 

The proposed standard will cover: 

  • all buildings including existing and new, residential and commercial, and groups of buildings, or portions of buildings 
  • determination, including the calculation methodology and expression of building zero net GHG and zero net carbon status in building operations 
  • calculation of GHG and carbon emissions associated with on-site and off-site material, energy and carbon flows 
  • embodied GHG and carbon emissions of building materials and systems. 


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