Building Decarbonization Practice Guide

The William J. Worthen Foundation and the Building Decarbonization Coalition is collaborating on a project to help non-residential designers understand how to develop all-electric designs. The "Design Professional’s Guide to Decarbonization of the Built Environment" will offer the practical knowledge architects and engineers need to understand, scope and integrate cost-effective systems in the design process. The guide will present how to evaluate alternative systems, plan for the impacts of all electric building system solutions, and how to navigate the complex Code-compliance issues that are presented by the use of natural gas systems as the baseline for Code-required energy performance. The guide will empower design professionals to think differently about HVAC and service water heating systems, and to communicate why all-electric systems should be considered.

We will present, in a visually interesting and easy-to-read format, the various technologies and diversity of real-world systems and solutions in use and on the market today. The primary goal of this Practice Guide will be to make the design, value and benefits of cost-effective integration of all-electric systems a core competency for architects and engineers. A working group of subject matter and industry experts will be convened to develop the content, info-graphics, and validate technical resources.

The Practice Guide will be produced as an e-book and made publicly available for download at no cost. Partnering with industry and institutional partners, the guide will present empowering information, real world examples and step by step design, construction and technical information needed for systems of all types and sizes at the building scale. The guide will present a step-by step process from project pitch, design, scope definition, system specification, permitting, construction and operation and maintenance systems. We will discuss technologies that allow for the efficient heating and cooling of buildings, as well as the production of domestic hot water, using electricity as the only fuel source. The intent is to publish an abbreviated guide as an e-book before the end of the first quarter of 2020, and a full practice guide within 14-18 months of securing the total funding needed to produce the guide and organize the working group.

We welcome designers, technologists, policy, and code specialists who would like to participate in this working group to send a note of inquiry to Chris Diem.

Interest in funding has been conveyed by Google, the Pankow Foundation, and Underwriters Laboratories. If you are interested in contributing to the funding of this Guide, please reach out to Kyle Pickett.

We will be convening our Working Group Kick Off meeting at the end of October!

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