The health care industry has always been a large energy user and relied heavily on natural gas and other fossil fuels for heating, domestic hot water, and other end uses like kitchen food service. The last year has brought many stories of natural gas system explosions, deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning, and a host of other indoor air quality issues associated with our use of fossil fuels in the built environment. We’ll briefly talk about the need to decarbonize the built environment, the changes needed to pave the path to 100 percent renewable electric power for buildings, and the legislative changes in California that are examples of how policy can drive the industry in this direction both nationally and globally.
The technology for electrifying large buildings does exist, we’ll lay out the current state of products and talk about the current approaches that are being used with available technology, and how manufacturers are expanding electrified options in response to market forces.
Finally, we will lay out the strategies that owners and facility managers can use to achieve their own decarbonization goals, which will vary from building type (outpatient versus inpatient) to system configurations (heat pump central plants versus air-cooled unitary equipment, and high temperature DHW systems versus non-chemical treatment for legionellosis).