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      Advances Toward a Net-Zero Global Building Sector

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          The building sector is responsible for 39% of process-related greenhouse gas emissions globally, making net- or nearly-zero energy buildings pivotal for reaching climate neutrality. This article reviews recent advances in key options and strategies for converting the building sector to be climate neutral. The evidence from the literature shows it is possible to achieve net- or nearly-zero energy building outcomes across the world in most building types and climates with systems, technologies, and skills that already exist, and at costs that are in the range of conventional buildings. Maximizing energy efficiency for all building energy uses is found as central to net-zero targets. Jurisdictions all over the world, including Brussels, New York, Vancouver, and Tyrol, have innovated visionary policies to catalyze themarket success of such buildings, with more than 7 million square meters of nearly-zero energy buildings erected in China alone in the past few years. Since embodied carbon in building materials can consume up to a half of the remaining 1.5°C carbon budget, this article reviews recent advances to minimize embodied energy and store carbon in building materials.

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          The technological and economic prospects for CO2 utilization and removal

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            The trouble with negative emissions

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              A radiative cooling structural material

              Reducing human reliance on energy-inefficient cooling methods such as air conditioning would have a large impact on the global energy landscape. By a process of complete delignification and densification of wood, we developed a structural material with a mechanical strength of 404.3 megapascals, more than eight times that of natural wood. The cellulose nanofibers in our engineered material backscatter solar radiation and emit strongly in mid-infrared wavelengths, resulting in continuous subambient cooling during both day and night. We model the potential impact of our cooling wood and find energy savings between 20 and 60%, which is most pronounced in hot and dry climates.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Environment and Resources
                Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour.
                Annual Reviews
                1543-5938
                1545-2050
                October 17 2020
                October 17 2020
                : 45
                : 1
                : 227-269
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University (CEU), 1051 Budapest, Hungary;
                [2 ]Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, OX2 6HD Oxford, United Kingdom;
                [3 ]Passive House Canada, Victoria, British Columbia V9A 3S1, Canada;
                [4 ]Electrical and Electronic Manufacturing, Delta Electronics Foundation, 11491 Taipei, Taiwan;
                [5 ]GREiA Research Group, Universitat de Lleida, 25001 Lleida, Spain;
                [6 ]Building Energy Research Center, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing, China;
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-environ-012420-045843
                4ce8050c-50ef-4fad-b330-1300e97a03ad
                © 2020

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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