Today's building energy codes focus on prescriptive requirements for features of buildings that are directly controlled by design and construction teams and verifiable by municipal inspectors. Although these code requirements have had a significant impact, they fail to influence a large slice of the building energy use pie—including not only miscellaneous plug loads, cooking equipment, and commercial/industrial processes but the maintenance and optimization of the code-mandated systems as well. Currently, code compliance is verified only through the end of construction, and there are no limits or consequences for the actual energy used in a building after it is occupied. In the future, our suite of energy regulations will likely expand to include building efficiency, energy use, or carbon emission budgets over their full life cycle. Intelligent building systems, extensive renewable energy, and a transition from fossil fuel to electric heating systems will likely be required to meet ultralow-energy targets. This paper considers short and long-term trends in the building industry, lays out the authors' perspectives on how buildings may evolve over the course of the 21st century, and discusses the roles that codes and regulations will play in shaping those buildings of the future.

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