Decarbonization Is Coming. How Can Building Owners Prepare?

Source: Bisnow

Buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of annual carbon dioxide emissions. Of that 40%, 28% can be attributed to everyday building operations including heating and cooling. As the world moves toward adopting changes to reduce CO2 emissions, building owners will play a large role in whether those decarbonization efforts succeed. For some building owners, the decision of whether or not to work toward decarbonization may not be entirely up to them. Several local governments, including Virginia and D.C., have taken legislative or executive action to force building owners to cut their CO2 emissions or face hefty fines.

Of course, telling owners they need to reduce the level of carbon dioxide they release into the air is only half the battle. Many may not know where to begin, what changes they need to make, or even how much CO2 their building is currently emitting. Bisnow sat down with Gerardo Molina, a sales engineer at Boland, a holistic building services provider and commercial HVAC company, to learn more about what building owners need to understand about decarbonization, what they should be doing to reduce their carbon footprint and how the right HVAC tools can help.

Bisnow: What do building owners need to know about decarbonization?

Molina: The first thing is that if they don't know about decarbonization, they need to know that it's coming. It's not a matter of whether it's coming, it's just a matter of time. It will impact buildings of all types by fundamentally changing the way they are heated. From an engineering perspective, we currently cool buildings with electricity, but moving forward, decarbonization laws will not allow us to continue utilizing natural gas for both comfort heating and domestic hot water. In order to combat this, the equipment building owners typically have access to today will need to be applied in slightly different ways. There is also new equipment under development designed to help meet decarbonization goals. Building owners need to educate themselves so that they're not caught flat-footed and they’re able to stay ahead of the curve.