Can We Build Zero Emissions Buildings? Building Decarbonization
Buildings account for 39% of all US carbon emissions. Building occupants burn gas and use electricity, each accounting for roughly half of those carbon emissions. The carbon emissions of the grid have been declining steadily over the last several years due to the retirement of coal power plants and the surge of new renewable electricity sources. Several states have enacted legislation requiring electricity to become carbon free in the coming years. With electricity becoming a carbon free fuel source, gas use in buildings will become the main source of building carbon emissions.
Building decarbonization can be accomplished now through the transition from gas heating to efficient electric heat pump systems. The current offering of heat pumps is diverse, mature and applicable to all buildings.
Peter Rumsey will present the findings of a study done by his colleagues on the impacts of switching to heat pump heating systems. The study compares the energy consumption, energy cost, and carbon emissions of all-electric versus gas-based commercial buildings in 8 different climates. In all cases, carbon emissions are reduced and in some cases dramatically. Peter will show how to fully decarbonize buildings today. He will share a case study of a zero carbon emission office building.
Decarbonization, Electrification, Heat pumps, All-electric, green building, energy efficiency, climate change, renewable energy, climate strike, net zero carbon, climate ready buildings.
Jorlyn is a high performance building systems engineer at Point Energy Innovations. Jorlyn joined Point Energy after earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Point Energy, Jorlyn spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in NZ, completing an MS at the University of Auckland in Physical Oceanography. Her research used cutting edge oceanographic platforms to study ocean mixing in areas of high turbulence. Applications of this research are to improve ocean models and better understand how energy and material is transported around our planet. At Point Energy, Jorlyn has focused on using her experience in mechanical design to prioritize energy efficiency in several studies, including the University of Utah Low Emissions study and the mobile Modular Zero Energy Classroom Study.