Navigating toward net zero by 2050: Drivers, barriers, and strategies for net zero carbon buildings in an emerging market

Eric Ohene, Albert P.C. Chan, Amos Darko, Gabriel Nani

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Net zero carbon buildings (NZCBs) are a promising solution for decarbonizing the built environment, addressing climate change, and enhancing the quality of life for building occupants. However, the uptake of NZCBs has been slow, and the feasibility remains unclear, especially in emerging markets. This paper seeks to examine the feasibility of NZCBs by analyzing the drivers, barriers, and strategies in Ghana, a typical emerging market. First, a thorough literature review was conducted. Then, comprehensive opinions on the feasibility of NZCBs were gathered through a survey and an in-depth panel discussion with major construction industry stakeholders. The study systematically identified key drivers and barriers, covering economic, legislative, skills and knowledge, industry, market, and cultural factors. Economic drivers were perceived as the most significant for promoting NZCBs, followed by the legislative drivers. Moreover, financial barriers were identified as critical factors hindering the adoption of NZCBs, followed by skill and knowledge barriers. Interestingly, this study identified that skill and knowledge barriers are more critical than legislative ones, which have been prioritized in many previous studies. Enhancing industry and public awareness, adequate building regulations and policies, and capacity building were identified as essential strategies to stimulate the adoption of NZCBs. A comprehensive framework of strategies for promoting NZCBs development was proposed. The study's findings could aid policymakers and stakeholders in better understanding the NZCB concept in order to formulate adequate decarbonization action plans for the built environment. Moreover, the study offers valuable guidance for further research to explore the net zero built environment field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110472
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023


  • And strategies
  • Barriers
  • Carbon emissions
  • Drivers
  • Net zero carbon building
  • Sustainable built environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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