Expert Q&A: Brian Goldcrump Discusses Lowering the Carbon Footprint of New and Existing Buildings
Brian Goldcrump has more than 10 years of experience in building design and energy modeling and leads the Tetra Tech High Performance Building Group’s building energy modeling teams in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. Brian works with clients in the early design phases to understand and advise on energy system options and the best paths for each project. 他对入住后的建筑表现特别感兴趣, 帮助业主了解性能, 并确保建筑的运行符合预期. He has helped the Tetra Tech building energy group evolve over time to support Tetra Tech as a leader in the industry.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. 他是LEED认证的专业ca88亚州城士, 国际生活未来研究所的成员, 她是俄勒冈州波特兰州立大学的可持续发展导师.
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包括美国所有三个州在内的许多州.S. West Coast—now require utilities to improve their renewable portfolio of sources that produce their power. Washington and California are requiring utilities to use 100 percent renewable power by 2045.
建筑电气化正在将天然气从我们的建筑ca88亚州城中移除, 什么有助于建筑物脱碳. In a typical building, we have gas as the heating source, so either a gas boiler, 一个燃气暖通空调装置，里面有一个炉子, 或者我们用煤气作为家庭热水器. 电气化就是把气体热源转换成电能. We can make this change because the electrical grid that is powering our buildings is becoming cleaner. 包括美国所有三个州在内的许多州.S. West Coast—now require utilities to improve their renewable portfolio of sources that produce their power. Washington and California are requiring utilities to use 100 percent renewable power by 2045. 因为电网是通过消除我们的天然气排放来脱碳的, our buildings will eventually be zero emission buildings once they are electrified.
The key driver behind this movement is the decarbonization of the electric power grid at the state policy level. There are 31 U.S. states that have similar requirements—similar policy shifts are happening globally, such as the recent changes of approach 在澳大利亚新南威尔士州、维多利亚州和昆士兰州. 与此同时，可再生能源变得越来越便宜. For example, 俄勒冈州最后一个剩余的燃煤电厂最近关闭了, 20 years ahead of schedule. That’s because it's currently cheaper to install renewable plants than to run an old coal plant.
There was an inflection point in 2019 in which wind power was cheaper than natural gas in California. So, the economics in the policy are playing off each other in a very symbiotic way, 创造了一个可再生能源在公用事业规模上变得更便宜的市场. So, to answer the question, 除了国家政策之外，还有许多因素造成了这一现象, including governments’ significant financial contribution to research in this area.
脱碳过程是否只局限于新建建筑, or is it something that we can use to lower operational carbon in existing buildings?
It is not limited to new builds. There is a ton of discussion, particularly at the university level, 通过改变中心工厂来实现校园脱碳. Most universities have centralized steam systems that run on natural gas that distribute steam throughout the campus. Many campuses, 包括几乎所有西海岸的主要城市, are looking at what they can do about their existing steam systems or their existing natural gas systems. We just did a study with the California State University system to provide a roadmap for decarbonizing all their existing buildings.
它也可以用于现有的建筑. 这需要事先进行彻底的可行性研究, however, 确定实现电气化的最佳途径.
许多大学都有某种形式的气候行动计划. 大多数气候行动计划都有碳中和的承诺, such as being carbon neutral by 2030. 当他们看到他们的大部分排放来自校园, 他们发现很多来自于现场的燃气燃烧.
They're also looking at lower lifecycle costs for these systems—particularly with steam. 很多蒸汽系统都很旧，有很多维护问题. Switching to an electrified hot water system makes more sense in the long term from a lifecycle perspective.
We are seeing it discussed more at the primary and secondary education level as well. Beyond the education market, many private commercial companies, including all the large tech companies, have a similar carbon neutrality pledge. Most of them are looking at electrification to reduce or eliminate their carbon emissions.
Does this represent a paradigm shift in how the building industry defines sustainability?
I think that's right. The design industry has been thinking about it from a more holistic emission standpoint for a long time, 但这些州的法律和公用事业的变化正在推动更广泛的行动.
For example, in Portland, Oregon, the power source is relatively dirty and has a lot of coal. Until recently, from an emission standpoint, natural gas heating made more sense. 波特兰通用电气关闭了他们最后一家燃煤电厂, 俄勒冈州的太平洋电力公司安装了更多的可再生能源, it's now starting to make more sense to remove gas and just look at electric as these grids evolve.
Seattle, on the other hand, 几乎完全由水力发电驱动, which has zero emissions. 西雅图的城市代码中有电气化, 它们为电气化系统提供了一点动力. 电气化对我们的客户来说是有意义的——随着其他电网的发展, 它也将开始向其他城市蔓延.
这要看情况，但总的来说是非常积极的影响. We create interactive dashboards using energy modeling and predictive analytics to look at how different building systems function within different power grids and show emissions impacts under various conditions. 这有助于我们的客户做出决策, 引导他们采取更具可持续性和成本效益的选择.
Looking at this tool, 你可以看看你是否在俄勒冈的太平洋电力公司, which is 63 percent coal, your emissions are lower for an electrified four-pipe system than a variable air volume system, which would use gas.
But if you're on Seattle City Light, your emissions are already almost zero, 因为他们依赖水力发电.
So, 以太平洋力量为例, electrification is a massive, 直接影响，因为现在的电网太脏了, especially when compared to Seattle. 但从长期来看，你每年可以减少2000吨二氧化碳. It is a big impact.
这些都不是新的——只是看待这座建筑的一种不同的方式. 热泵技术一直存在. 我们已经在家里使用它很长时间了. And as grids become cleaner and there's a larger push towards electrification, 价格正在下降，技术正在改进.
So, it's similar to when variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems were introduced to the country more than 20 years ago: It was expensive and was not understood very well. But 10 years later, we essentially consider VRF to be our entry level into electrification. 这是一种简单而经济的方法, 我们的主要任务是与业主沟通，告诉他们这意味着什么.
Building owners are becoming more aware of the risks inherent in having gas on-site. 现场燃烧会损害空气质量. 在一场对我们的肺部造成重大影响的全球大流行之后, 拥有更好的现场空气质量是一件大事. 我认为车主们正越来越意识到这些问题, 而且它越来越成为电气化的一个卖点.
What international developments can we expect to see having impacts in the United States in the next 5 to 15 years?
I think the big one is heat pump and heat pump chiller and heat recovery chiller technology, 它们已经在这里了，只是在慢慢开始. It's our preferred system for electrification and is starting to see some deeper penetration into the market as the technology improves and prices come down. It's the next wave of systems that we think will be a big driver towards electrification for the right application. It's really on us as engineers to educate owners, clients, facilities, and partners.
另一个我们希望看到更多的是地源技术. 这也不是什么新鲜事，但目前钻探成本很高. 我们多年来一直致力于地面资源项目，最近在 圣安东尼奥百老汇办公室开发除了排放，他们还有很多好处. Building owners love ground source systems because they're very low maintenance, super durable, and very resilient. 正是钻井成本使得很多项目夭折. 随着需求的增长，成本也会下降.