Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning Initiative

Latest Updates

Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Nomination Form

The BPDA will convene three Technical Advisory Groups (TAG) to assist in crafting technical recommendations for each of the three focus areas: Low Carbon Buildings, On-site Renewable Energy, and Renewable Energy Procurement. Each TAG will assess best practices, potential standards, barriers to implementation, and make supporting recommendations.

Learn more and submit a nomination

Previous Meetings & Engagement

Low Carbon Building Technical Advisory Group Meeting

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | 2:00 PM

This meeting was hosted virtually. See the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Nomination Form above or contact John.Dalzell@Boston.gov for more information.

Presentation | Video Recording | Chat Transcript

Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning Initiative Public Meeting

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | 6:00 PM

Members of the Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning team introduced Boston's strategies for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including the development of zero net carbon building zoning for new construction, and related updates to Boston Zoning Article 37 Green Buildings. The meeting consisted of presentations by city and professional experts followed by a Q&A and open discussion.

Presentation | Video Recording | Q&A Report

Overview

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) is excited to announce the launch of the Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning Initiative that will assess and identify strategies to strengthen green building zoning requirements to a zero net carbon standard for new construction. This is a critical step for advancing practices to meet Mayor Martin J. Walsh's goal for Boston to be carbon neutral by 2050. In the coming weeks BPDA staff, with a team of building experts, will be reaching out to engage Boston residents and professionals to join the discussion and assist in developing Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning.

If you are interested in participating in the discussion please sign up for future updates and notices. If you have specific questions please reach out to John Dalzell (John.Dalzell@Boston.gov) or Richard McGuinness (Richard.McGuinness@Boston.gov).

In October 2019, Mayor Walsh released Boston's Climate Action Plan 2019 Update detailing specific actions the City will take over the next five years to significantly cut emissions across all sectors of city life, in order to reach our ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.

"This carbon reduction plan works hand-in-hand with Climate Ready Boston, our initiative to prepare our neighborhoods for the impacts we know we will face as a result of climate change, as well as Resilient Boston Harbor, our plan to strengthen Boston’s entire 47-mile coastline with a system of parks, beaches, and trails that block floods and improve quality of life all year round.

We know that communities that contribute the least to climate pollution bear the greatest impacts of climate change. As we reduce emissions and prepare our communities for the impacts of climate change, we need to place people first. This means designing and implementing policies for and with our communities of color, low-income neighborhoods, youth, older adults, women, people with impairments, persons facing homelessness, and people with limited English proficiency. This also means asking those who have contributed disproportionately to climate change to take action first. By placing equity at the heart of climate action, we can achieve fair outcomes for every Bostonian, so that they can thrive in a resilient and healthy city."

—Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Climate Action Plan 2019 Update

Boston’s buildings account for approximately 71 percent of our community carbon emissions, and represent the greatest opportunity for emissions reductions. Decarbonizing Boston’s building sector depends on shifting to zero net carbon (ZNC) new construction by 2030, and retrofitting and electrifying at least 80 percent of our existing buildings over the next 30 years. The Climate Action Plan 2019 Update identifies seven key actions:

  1. Construct new municipal buildings to a zero net carbon standard
  2. Adopt a zero net carbon standard for city-funded affordable housing in Boston
  3. Strengthen green building zoning requirements to a zero net carbon standard
  4. Invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy
  5. Develop a carbon emissions performance standard to decarbonize existing large buildings
  6. Expand workforce development programs for building decarbonization
  7. Advocate for state building policies that align with carbon neutrality by 2050

The City is leading the way by adopting a zero net carbon standard for City buildings and City funded affordable housing.

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