Health Co-Benefits of the Built Environment

Health Co-benefits of the Built Environment

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Welcome to the public beta version of the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) tool. CoBE was built by researchers from Harvard, Boston University, and Oregon State University to quantify the health benefits of energy efficiency measures in buildings.

This tool is useful to building owners, operators, investors, and others, who want to better understand the impact of their buildings’ energy consumption and are interested in reducing that impact. The CoBE tool can be used to assess current building performance and for future planning. CoBE provides a footprint of building portfolios— consisting of the portfolio’s emissions (greenhouse gas and air pollutants), climate impacts, and public health impacts of building energy use— while benchmarking emission intensities against climate policies. 

Our paper on the CoBE Study and Methodology is now available for open access.

Our paper on the CoBE Study and Methodology is now available for open access. Click below to read up on how CoBE projects emissions reduction, health, and climate co-benefits of energy savings through 2050.

Our paper on the CoBE Study and Methodology is now available for open access.

CoBE v.2 has arrived!

We are always working on ways to make this tool more meaningful. In this version, you will find enhancements that include:

  • Can perform impact evaluations based on user input data
  • Includes health and climate impacts, in dollar terms
  • Can calculate impacts for both electricity use, and heating fuels
  • Capable of evaluating impacts of both commercial and residential buildings.

Click here to add your contact information to be notified about updates with the CoBE tool.

“Expectations have changed: Buildings must be both healthy and green, safe and smart. Building owners and operators must consider such features or retrofit existing buildings to attract capital or talent. It’s a no-brainer from a business decision-making standpoint.”

Joseph Allen
PI of the CoBE Project
Director of the Harvard Healthy Buildings Program

“Climate policies are increasingly focusing on buildings. Yet health is not sufficiently included in these discussions. To help address this gap and improve public health, we have developed the Co-Benefits of the Build Environment (CoBE) tool. The tool helps decision-makers and other stakeholders to assess their current performance and quantify health and climate co-benefits to improve the health and well-being of people and our planet.”

Paricher Salimafard
Co-PI of the CoBE Project
Assistant Professor Oregon State University, School of Civil & Constrction Engineering

“Buildings play a lead role in the energy transition. As major energy consumers, buildings must be center stage to mitigate climate change and reduce air pollution. Our team’s work allows buildings to lead the effort for a healthy and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. With the CoBE tool we can bring this work to each and every building and help shape the energy future.”

Jonathan Buonocore
Co-PI of the CoBE Project
Assistant Professor Boston University School of Public Health

Introduction to the CoBe tool

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Case Study

Highlighted Case Study: Boston

Read the Case Study

Frequently Asked Questions

Read the FAQs

Relevant Research

Feb 13, 2024
Climate policy impacts on building energy use, emissions, and health: New York City local law 97
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Sep 20, 2023
Elsevier: The CoBE Study – A Novel Method for Calculating the Projected Health and Climate Co-Benefits of Energy Savings through 2050
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Sep 18, 2023
HSPH: New Methodology Reveals Health, Climate Impacts of Reducing Buildings’ Energy Use
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Sep 8, 2023
A Novel Method for Calculating Health and Climate Impacts of Building Energy Savings – 3 Key Takeaways from the CoBE Tool
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In The News

May 15, 2024
Report tallies pros of energy retrofit at Hopkins Academy
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Apr 3, 2023
Weekendavisen: Indeklimakrisen (Indoor Climate Crisis)
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