Skip to main content

Cambridge, MA has been debating a net zero energy and/or emissions standard (http://www.netzerocambridge.org) for new buildings over 25,000 square feet since the Spring of 2013, partially because of an ecodistrict plan with MIT and others on a large parcel in East Cambridge (a plan MIT refused to make net zero even though they are rumored to be building a net zero project with some of the same partners in Basel, Switzerland).

The City Manager (Cambridge has a city manager form of municipal government, along with proportional representation so city politics get weird fast) has established a "Getting to Net Zero" Task Force to study the issue.  Cambridge Community Development Department produced a fine overview of the state of the art in larger buildings for zero net emissions at (pdf alert) http://www.cambridgema.gov/...

As the national Ecodistrict Summit was in town recently, the Community Development Department and Sustainable Performance Institute (http://www.sustainable-performance.org) hosted experts from Integral Group (http://www.integralgroup.com/), a deep green engineering firm to present lessons from the more than 40 net zero buildings they've worked on.

11/14/13
Cambridge Public Library
Andrea Traber
Dave Ramslie
Ben Galuza

Community compact on sustainable future - Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, with business partners Akamai Technologies, Novartis, Institutes for BioMedical Research, Whole Foods, and others to come.
http://web.mit.edu/...

Andrea:
Integral has 41 net zero projects in process or completed
"We have to take out 80% of our footprint" in order to control greenhouse gas emissions
Fort Collins, CO - zero energy district, 2 square miles, 7000 residential and commercial customers, municipal utility, 45 MW, generate local energy from 50 mile radius, demand reduction and response, resilient design and passive survivability, district heating cooling and power, microgrids, net zero water
http://fortzed.com
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/...
Walter Reed Medical Center - 2 million sq ft, 62.5 acres, 2030 zero net energy target, 2040 carbon neutral, phased infrastructure development, "future proofing"
http://www.dc.gov/...
Vancouver - district heating through underground water loop with business buildings providing waste heat for residential buildings
Vancouver Cambie Street corridor - airport to downtown, ambient water loop for district heating, hydronic heating and cooling
http://vancouver.ca/...

Dave:
Recovering bureaucrat
Vancouver's green building and energy policy
http://vancouver.ca/...
Only one North American city met its Kyoto goal, 6% below 1990 levels by 2012, and that was Portland, OR through decommissioning a coal plant.  Vancouver was about six months later, within the year but not the month of Kyoto goals.  Vancouver has 55% of its ghg from buildings and gets most of its power from hydro (92%).  New goal is 33% below 2012 levels by 2020
Building energy disclosure - New York, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, California and Washington as well reports Institute for Market Transformation
http://www.imt.org
300% difference in how buildings are performing [two similar energy efficient buildings built in New Orleans after Katrina by the same architects as part of the same development exhibited entirely different energy expenditures, almost purely because of the habits of the different residents]
Vancouver will be carbon neutral in operations by 2020
82kbtu/sq ft now to 41kbtu/sq ft by 2020 with natural gas displaced by renewables
New buildings will show how they meet the target so that lessons learned are shared
Connect existing loads for fuel switching, creating a local carbon offset market, fund energy efficient retrofits
Passive design toolkits for commercial and residential buildings for local conditions

Ben:
Net zero is zero combustion energy with all energy used generated onsite or within area
Green or net zero can be built at or near conventional costs
Living building challenge - k-12 schools are early adopters
http://living-future.org/...
"Net zero buildings will be at market rate within five years" - for office buildings and even for wet labs [labs seem to be the most energy-intensive buildings]
First address building envelope, lighting, hvac and only then the plug loads which can make up the bulk of building energy use
Standard office plug load is 2.5 w/sq ft, integral's Oakland office is at .45 w/sq ft
Z-squared office is a bank retrofit to net zero - envelope, day lighting,
Packard Foundation, near Palo Alto
http://www.packard.org/...
49,000 sq ft office net zero building
Chilled water thermal storage with ambient water loop and heat pumps
Exploratorium in SF -
http://www.exploratorium.edu/...
all electric heat pump for all heating and cooling, will be first net zero museum, radiant heating and cooling in floors
J Craig Venter Institute
http://www.jcvi.org/...
lab building, three stories [question about a new net zero energy building in an area where everybody has to commute miles to get there and back again - transportation policy is an unacknowledged key to sustainability and resilience]

Andrea:  Talbot Northgate, Codman Square, Boston ecodistrict charette
http://www.lisc.org/...
with over 80 people participating from the Ecodistrict Summit http://ecodistricts.org/...

Slides will be available at Cambridge Community Development
http://www.cambridgema.gov/...

originally published at http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/...

Poll

Go beyond net zero to net positive?

100%15 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 15 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site