Architects, Engineers, and Contractors - Key to Moving Towards a Zero Carbon Future: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Many building owners have set energy or carbon goals often citing targets of carbon neutrality in the next 10 to 30 years. Ultimately, these goals need to be translated into actions related to new and existing construction. Designers and contractors are key to designing solutions that meet the energy and carbon goals. As a voluntary program, the Design and Construction Allies (Allies program) was formed to identify barriers for the adoption of zero energy and zero carbon buildings (ZEZC). The goal was to understand why "all" buildings are not designed with ZEZC in mind. Currently the Allies program consists of 25 leading architecture, engineering, and construction firms that are seeking to take actionable steps to deliver buildings with the ZEZC goal. In the first year, the Allies have found numerous barriers and have implemented working groups to address key challenges that can be solved readily Allies. The paper will document program formulation and engagement strategies as well as the identified barriers and related recommendations for the design and construction community to shift towards ZEZC as a normal design and construction outcome. Two major topics rose to the top that the working groups were created to address: (1) providing guidance and knowledge to clients such that they will be active in creating ZEZC, and (2) bringing together knowledge around embodied carbon such that action can be taken to reduce this carbon emission area. Each working group has refined the barriers and created solutions that have been tested by Ally members. This rapid identification of barriers and subsequent creation of deployable solutions shows rapid change can happen.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings - Pacific Grove, California
Duration: 21 Aug 202226 Aug 2022


Conference2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
CityPacific Grove, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-83255


  • design allies
  • zero carbon
  • zero energy
  • zero energy buildings


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