Advancing Net-zero Built Environments: Promoting Equitable Wellness for All
The built environment is the converging platform where otherwise discrete sectors of the economy become integrated, such as residential, commercial, and institutional buildings, appliances for cooling, ventilation and air quality, transportation, and energy infrastructure including distributed energy resources, each with their associated embodied and operational emissions. Hence, to combat climate change, it is important to develop policy, investment, and technology frameworks focused on driving the decarbonization of the built environment. No building is an island, and action on a community scale is where the potential benefits of decarbonizing the built environment are accrued. Net- zero Connected Communities are whole campuses or neighbourhoods with energy-efficient homes, offices, shops, and other buildings, each with smart appliances and all powered by on-site renewable generation providing energy resilience and wellness. Electric vehicle charging stations and energy storage abound, and all the buildings are knit together by a community smart grid with digital interconnections. This vision can be enabled with long-term policy and regulatory capacity and improved investment decision-making for a sustainable built environment and economic growth. This will also help advance India’s decarbonisation, innovation, and energy security goals.