The Climate Toolkit

Buildings and Energy

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: One of the greenest buildings in the world.

Introduction

The built environment is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, generating roughly 42% of our annual global CO2 emissions. Of those total emissions, building operations are responsible for 27%, while building and infrastructure materials and construction (i.e. embodied carbon) are responsible for an additional 15%. It is imperative to reduce our collective carbon emissions by eliminating all onsite fossil-fuel combustion; utilizing electric-only building systems and equipment; and powering our operations with 100% clean renewable energy.

Listed below are the Building Energy commitments of the Climate Toolkit:
Decarbonize your glasshouse facility.

Glasshouses – especially those built in the early 20th century or before – are among the most inefficient buildings. They are expensive and energy intensive to heat and cool, lack proper insulation, and are often tied to historic infrastructure. The Climate Toolkit recommends that institutions with these facilities on their property investigate all available avenues toward maximizing efficiency and shift to new heating and cooling strategies. These include:

  • Geothermal energy
  • Electrification of heating and cooling equipment
  • Adoption of passive heating and cooling options, including earth tubes
  • Use of phase-change material

Many of these strategies have not yet been fully assessed in this niche environment. Interested parties are encouraged to join our Glasshouse Decarbonization listserv to pool resources and investigate opportunities for small-scale test implementations.

FURTHER RESOURCES:

Feasibility Study to Reduce or Eliminate Reliance on Fossil Fuels – Integral Phipps Conserv Report_Final Report August 9 2016 with Appendices

Case Studies

If you need more support, please email the Climate Toolkit at climatetoolkit@phipps.conservatory.org.

Institutions Pursuing Buildings and Energy Goals:

Select a CHECKBOX to filter ORGANIZATIONS that have achieved a particular goal.

Buildings and Energy

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