The way we operate our buildings is currently responsible for 28% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Municipal climate action plans worldwide recognize that buildings in our communities are more than just inanimate objects — they are dynamic actors in the fight against climate change. Building decarbonization inherently relies on property owners to upgrade their assets in alignment with city goals while maintaining occupancy and profitability.

Expanding on our previous work with the City of Los Angeles on LA’s Green New Deal sustainability plan, Arup has prepared Zero-Carbon Collaboration: The Case for Los Angeles. Taking on the perspective of the private building owner, this report explores the energy and cost implications of upgrading large-scale commercial and residential properties (>20,000 ft2) built under the California energy codes of the last 40 years. With a focus on improving both efficiency and operational readiness for carbon-free energy sources in 2045, the analysis compares the initial cost increase and long-term energy savings of replacing equipment at the end of its useful life with newer technologies already in the market.  

It’s time for climate action. It’s possible to get to zero carbon, but only if we plan to act together and leave no one behind.

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Zero-Carbon Collaboration: The Case for Los Angeles