Towards a 2000 Watt society – assessing building-specific saving potentials of the Swiss residential building stock
Journal article, 2012

Switzerland declared the notion of the 2000 Watt society as their leitmotif towards a sustainable development in terms of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. This implies that worldwide, no more than 17,520 kWh of total primary energy and 1 ton CO2-equivalent are to be consumed per capita and year for all services. Thus, in order to meet the targets of the 2000 Watt society, it is necessary to reduce primary energy demand by 44% and greenhouse gas emissions by 77%. The building stock model, described in this paper, assisted the government of Zurich to identify the necessary steps in order to achieve the goals with regard to the city's residential, school, and office buildings. The objective of this paper is to investigate the role of energy demand reduction in residential buildings on the way towards the goals of a 2000 Watt society. In order to illustrate the mechanisms within the building stock and to identify the effects of construction activity, the model works with different scenarios. Specific measures were isolated and analysed individually. All three measures act directly on the building stock; each have comparable reduction potential in terms of primary energy demand (ca. 15%) and greenhouse gas emissions (ca. 40%). In order to further cut back greenhouse gas emissions, measures to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels and electricity need to be considered.


primary energy

building stock

greenhouse gas


Niko Heeren

Holger Wallbaum

Martin Jakob

International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development

2093-761X (ISSN) 2093-7628 (eISSN)

Vol. 3 1 43-49

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering

Environmental Management

Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology

Energy Systems

Building Technologies



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