Decarbonization of Existing Commercial Buildings: Technical Issues and Opportunities (Part 1)

  • Starts11:00 am on Friday, November 5, 2021
  • Ends12:30 pm on Friday, November 5, 2021

ISE Energy of the Future Webinar Series

In the race to decarbonize, the U.S. commercial building sector offers significant potential to pay early dividends on climate action. At stake is 7% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to replace fossil fuels used primarily for heating and hot water, a sizable impact that could be more quickly attained than efforts to decarbonize other parts of our built environment.

This two-part webinar will address the technical, financial, and policy challenges in achieving substantial decarbonization of existing commercial buildings in particular—the harder-to-transition bulk of this sector that requires large-scale retrofits.

In part one, technical topics will span analysis of conversion opportunities for both individual lab/office buildings and entire portfolios of buildings, district heat, and assessment of heat pump technology for this sector.

Keynote speaker David Nemtzow, Building Technologies Office Director of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy, will be joined by panelists Kurt Roth, Head, Energy Systems, Fraunhofer USA Center for Manufacturing Innovation, Gayatri Sundar Rajan, Student Researcher, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, Mike Walters, Principal, Salas O’Brien, and Michael Gevelber, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Boston University who is also the moderator.

Part two on December 3 will focus on policy and financial topics, including financing green buildings, the cost of alternative carbon reduction strategies and policy trade-offs, whole-campus electrification, and emerging energy reporting regulations. To register for part two, visit

Hosted by the BU Institute for Sustainable Energy. Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council with BU partner the Energy & Sustainability Club.

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