Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer

Building Decarbonization 101: The Technology, Data, Operations, and Finances of Net Zero Development

Decarbonizing existing and new buildings is a top priority of cities worldwide, from New York to Tokyo. At the same time, companies are seeking more appealing facilities amidst enduring reluctance to office returns from workers. In response, owners, architects, engineers, and real estate professionals are racing to identify technologies, critical data, operating models, and financial cases that enable the success of modern retrofits and designs.

In 2024, building owners, developers, architects, and engineers need to meet new performance mandates and address societal needs for everything from energy savings and carbon emissions reduction to occupant safety, wellness, and increased productivity. Specifically:

Owners must consider public mandates to decarbonize amidst growing tenant expectations to improve air quality and spatial amenities while also considering the impact of hybrid work on their bottom line.
Tenants want spaces and technologies that provide teams a reason to come to the office and improve their working experience.
Architects and engineers must grapple with the crushing demand to redesign existing buildings to meet these new needs while designing future buildings.
Sessions will cover:

Session 1: An Introduction to Building Technologies, Decarbonization, and the PropTech Landscape
The program begins with understanding the current state of our buildings today from both a technological and sustainability perspective while working to understand what drivers are influencing them for tomorrow. We’ll look at how we got to where we are today, setting a baseline for the PropTech (i.e., Property Technology) advancements discussed throughout the program. In the role of building owners and developers, participants will work to identify how technology intersects and brings value to different users they’ll find in buildings. They will also explore how technology can improve the built environment, starting with identifying key personas, essential issues, and common challenges building occupants face.

Session 2: Planning & Energy in Decarbonization
It’s about more than just new buildings, though, as we’ll focus a portion of our time on understanding how to retrofit our existing facilities for improved performance. What technology retrofits can help better gain operational control of our buildings? How does harnessing your building data help with benchmarking and performance verification? Industry experts share insights and case studies on how owners have improved efficiencies with their existing buildings.

Next, we will explore the planning considerations for both Net Zero and carbon-neutral buildings. The program will delve into the infrastructure and planning required to facilitate the operation of a hyper-connected, high-performance building through tools such as Data Analytics, Building Digitization, and Digital Twins.

Session 3: Smart and Efficient Building Development and Sustainability Certifications
Participants will review and compare various sustainability and wellness certifications (i.e., LEED, WELL, FitWel, etc.) and contrast them with emerging smart building certifications (i.e., SPIRE, WiredScore, SBC, etc.). Together, we’ll look at what they are, what they cost, and the business case for investing in a certification program. We’ll discuss which certifications or standards best suit new vs. existing buildings. We’ll explore the planning process for the largest Passive House commercial office building in the US (800,000 sq/ft) — the Winthrop Center in Boston, MA. We’ll hear from the developer of Winthrop Center about the driving factors behind the building certifications selected, the challenges they faced, and the incredible outcome of meticulous design and planning.

Session 4: Operations, Finances, and Frontiers of Building Technology
Participants will roll up their sleeves to better understand the market trends behind Data Driven Buildings software platforms and applications, along with the inherent challenges, risks, and opportunities they present, including AI-based applications used for improving the tenant experience and increasing operational efficiency. They will also learn about cybersecurity and cultural considerations around collecting and managing building and occupant data. Next, participants will acquire essential skills for successful building projects, emphasizing operational considerations and the technology infrastructure that supports them. They will learn to define clear goals and objectives, navigate pricing considerations for new technologies, evaluate various procurement models (OpEx vs. CapEx vs. Hybrid models), assess technology maturity distinguishing startup tech from vaporware, and develop their understanding in multidisciplinary design coordination, commissioning, data transparency, cybersecurity, and efficient building operations.

Comments are closed.