Climate Now

Making buildings smarter, greener and healthier

November 07, 2022 James Lawler Season 1 Episode 73
Climate Now
Making buildings smarter, greener and healthier
Show Notes Chapter Markers

The side benefit of reducing building emissions? Increasing quality of life.

Building operations (heating, cooling and electrification) account for 27% of global CO2 emissions, but represent some of the lowest-hanging fruit in the challenge of global decarbonization. With efficient design and transitioning to cleanly-sourced electricity, like solar panels, building-related emissions could be decreased by as much as 80%.

Katy McGinty, vice president and chief sustainability officer of Johnson Controls and Ian Harris, business development manager at BlocPower, joined Climate Now to discuss how implementing smart control technologies, more insulated building envelopes, and clean-energy technologies like solar power and heat pumps, aren’t just critical to reaching global net-zero goals, they also make homes and buildings safer, more comfortable, and more affordable to live and work in. And with smart business approaches and community buy-in, building decarbonization can be a tool for environmental justice as much as climate mitigation, by engaging low-income communities, underserved communities and communities of color in the fight against climate change.

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Katie McGinty, Johnson Controls
About Johnson Controls
Energy storage
Johnson Controls’ work on iconic buildings (the Empire State Building and the White House)
How smart buildings improve stadium experiences
How smart buildings are improving performance in the medical field and saving lives
Heat pumps
Ian Harris, BlocPower
About BlocPower
BlocPower’s city-wide decarbonization project in Ithaca, NY
How community organizing and civil rights backgrounds inform BlocPower’s work