LIXIL Publish New Research Paper: "High Efficiency Housing for a Decarbonized World"
Tokyo – According to estimates*¹ compiled by the World Bank in 2021, rising sea levels, water shortages, declines in agricultural production, and other impacts from climate change due to global warming could force as many as 216 million people around the world from their homes by 2050. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is now an urgent issue for the entire world.
At the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26), held in November 2021, more than 150 countries announced targets for carbon neutrality by a specific date. Japan has also declared its intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has a set a target for reduction in CO2 emissions from the Household Sector, which includes housing, of 66% from fiscal 2013 levels, the highest figure among all industry sectors. Enhancing energy efficiency with improved thermal insulation is one of the key measures for meeting this target.
LIXIL Corporation (“LIXIL”) has compiled a report on the current status of these measures, entitled “High Efficiency Housing for a Decarbonized World.”
One of the areas with the greatest potential for CO2 reduction is housing. A high efficiency Net Zero Energy House*² (ZEH) provides a greater CO2 reduction benefit than switching to an electric vehicle. (Fig. 1)
The keyword for greater efficiency is “insulation.” Improving the thermal insulating performance of exterior windows, floors, walls, ceilings, and roofs can significantly reduce power consumption from heating and cooling units, which account for around a quarter of CO2 emissions from an average home. If all single-paned windows, used in around 70% of Japanese homes, were refitted with triple-paned windows, the heat outflow could be reduced by up to 80%, for an estimated CO2 reduction of around 15.09 million tonnes annually.
Fig. 1 Examples of greenhouse gas emissions reductions from decarbonization lifestyle change options (Source: National Institute for Environmental Studies*³)
Japan trails behind Europe in enhancing the energy efficiency of housing. Around 90% of existing homes in Japan do not meet current energy efficiency standards.*⁴ According to a nationwide survey on home insulation conducted by LIXIL (N=4,700), while a sizable proportion of people are concerned about the insulation performance of their home, this has not led to concrete action, with more than 80% responding that they have neither conducted nor even considered renovation for better insulation.
However, greater energy efficiency in housing is now an unavoidable issue to realize a decarbonized world. The role of highly insulating windows is considerable, and is likely to drive measures to address global warming. In fact, the market for energy-efficient double-paned or better windows is growing steadily worldwide, and is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% between 2020 and 2027.*⁵。
Considering this situation, LIXIL will continue to offer products and services to enhance the efficiency of Japanese homes, and contribute to the richer and more comfortable life that everyone desires. To access the full report, click the download link below.
Notes *¹ Source: World Bank, Groundswell Part 2: Acting on Internal Climate Migration *² A house that utilizes energy production, energy savings, and insulation to achieve a negative energy balance. *³ Excerpt from 65 lifestyle change options with the greatest impact on greenhouse gas emissions per person per year (carbon footprint), presented in Exploring Carbon Footprint Reduction Pathways through Urban Lifestyle Changes: A Practical Approach Applied to Japanese Cities, Environmental Research Letters, Ryu Koide, Satoshi Kojima, Keisuke Nansai, Michael Lettenmeier, Kenji Asakawa, Chen Liu, Shinsuke Murakami (2021). *⁴Source: Documents from the Panel on Infrastructure Development, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (2019). *⁵ Source: Report Ocean market report on energy efficient windows.