Exploring the Benefits of Decarbonization and Net Zero Ready Buildings
We’re all in this together when it comes to protecting the environment and conserving natural resources as much as possible.
For many people, reducing their carbon footprint is a major motivation in their business as well as in their home life. That’s good because otherwise, we will continue to contribute to global warming and the increased instability of extreme weather events that have been occurring all too often lately.
With that in mind, it’s useful to become familiar with the benefits of decarbonization and why we need to strive for greater energy efficiency in our buildings.
What’s “decarbonization?” The term refers to reducing carbon emissions. As the World Economic Forum notes, buildings contribute 39% of greenhouse gases, worldwide.
Countries that have signed on to the Paris climate agreement are working towards a goal of reaching zero net emissions by 2050. Of that 39%, 28% comes from operations in the buildings, while 11% is due to materials used to construct them.
Adopting a decarbonization approach, a building will aim to cut out fossil fuels for heating and prioritize renewable resources for cooling the structure (this also means HVAC professionals will no longer be using refrigerants implicated in global warming.) And another admirable goal for decarbonization in construction itself is to reuse or recycle building materials as much as possible.
Achieving Net Zero Over Time
Not all building owners are going to be in a position to completely change their building to meet net-zero goals.
The Rocky Mountain Institute recommends a zero-over-time (ZOT) approach, which “helps portfolio owners and managers right-time deep energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy storage projects by spreading them out over the life of the building.”
You conduct changes at “trigger points” in a building’s lifecycle, such as during tenant fit-outs or when it’s time to change large pieces of equipment.
What Are the Benefits of Decarbonization With Net Zero-Ready Buildings?
It’s not a good idea to just think about how much a building will cost to design and construct. You also have to take into account the total cost of ownership, from maintenance and inspections to repairs and so on.
But you also need to consider how much you spend on utilities. If your building was constructed without energy efficiency in mind, the chances are good that you are wasting electricity and money.
Benefits of decarbonization with net zero-ready buildings include:
* Potentially lower utility bills when electrification is done with renewable resources, such as efficient solar panels on the roof.
* Public relations improves when the public and consumers see what your building is doing to mitigate global warming.
* Attract more high-quality employee candidates who want to work in forward-thinking companies that have a mandate to “go green.”
* When it comes time to put the building up for sale, the energy efficiency and low carbon footprint will make it attractive for purchase by eco-minded businesses.
Is Your Organization in the Market for a Net Zero-Ready Building?
The HVAC professionals at Vertical Systems are proud to serve our customers out of branches all across California, from San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego. We are devoted to green building processes and helping entities with their decarbonization efforts through the development of Net Zero-ready buildings.
If you could use some professional expertise in developing your own eco-friendly electrification system for Net Zero building construction, or if you have questions about what’s involved in decarbonization, we’re here to help. Get in touch with Vertical Systems today to learn more.