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.

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Key findings

Factors influencing residential buildings energy use, 2015-2018

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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.

Estimated global buildings construction in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2018-2030

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Countries must move towards mandatory building energy codes

Two-thirds of countries lacked mandatory building energy codes in 2018, meaning more than 3 billion m2 were built last year without mandatory performance requirements. To be in line with the SDS by 2030: all countries need to move towards mandatory building energy codes, high-performance new construction needs to increase from 250 million m2 to 4 billion m2, and deep energy efficiency renovation of existing stock needs to double to at least a 30-50% energy intensity improvement.