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Center of Excellence for Building Decarbonization

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ASHRAE Decarb: Events | About CEBD | Awards & Recognition Positions | Recommendations | Commitments 


| >> View the sessions relating to decarbonization

Center of Excellence for Building Decarbonization (CEBD)

CEBD at the 2024 ASHRAE Annual Conference

The CEBD will take a leading role in a number of strategic activities. The following is a summary of primary activities where the CEBD will take on a leading role.

  • Strategy. Provide strategic direction for ASHRAE building decarbonization activities and work with the Planning Committee to incorporate appropriate goals into the Society strategic plan. ASHRAE’s building decarbonization strategy will be updated annually to keep up with the rapid pace of change in this area. Develop, lead and/or participate in strategic initiatives, generally with partner organizations, that accelerate and advance building decarbonization on a global basis.
  • Thought Leadership. Monitor future issues and trends and publicize ASHRAE’s decarbonization work globally to establish ASHRAE’s leadership position, in partnership with Marketing.
  • Collaboration. Coordinate joint initiatives, events, and projects with other U.S. and international organizations whose work is complementary to ASHRAE’s building decarbonization activities.
  • Public Advocacy. Work with Government Affairs to provide reliable technical information on decarbonization to policymakers, media, and the public.

Working with over 100 volunteers from around the world, the 2024-2025 priority projects include: decarbonization guides, educational seminars and courses, the Certified Decarbonization Professional (CDP) certification, research projects, website material, and collaboration with industry partners.

CEBD Organization Chart

2024-25 CEBD Voting Members

Kent Peterson, P.E., Chair
Blake Ellis, P.E., Vice Chair
Ghina Annan
Carrie Brown, Ph. D.
Luke Leung, P.E.
Bing Liu
Clay Nesler
Rajan Rajendran, Ph. D.
Stet Sanborn
Ginger Scoggins, P.E.

2024-25 CEBD Non-Voting Members

Kayleigh Houde, MEP 2040 Liaison
Bill McQuade, P.E., Members Council Liaison
Jeremy Smith, P.E., Technology Council Liaison
Costas Balaras, P.E., Ph. D., Technology Council Liaison
Stephanie Reiniche, Staff Liaison

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Awards & Recognition:

Eunice Foote Decarbonization Award

This award recognizes a member who works to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment.
Nominations are due annually December 1. Learn more.

Decarbonization Challenge Fund

A year-long competitive grant ($1,000 - $10,000) program to implement decarbonization projects within ASHRAE chapters. 43 projects were submitted from 37 various ASHRAE Chapters and 9 projects were awarded grants totaling $65,850 in the 2023-24 Society year. Learn more.


Eliminating GHG emissions from the built environment is essential to address climate change.

By 2030, the global built environment must halve its 2015 GHG emissions.

1. All new buildings must be net zero GHG emissions in operation,
2. Widespread energy-efficiency retrofits of existing assets must be well underway,
3. Embodied carbon of new construction must be reduced by at least 40%.

By 2050, at the latest, all new and existing assets must be net zero GHG emissions across the whole life cycle.

Decarbonization benefits go beyond reducing GHGs.

  • Reduced indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • Energy savings
  • Improved community health and well-being
  • Enhanced social responsibility
  • Increased property valuation

Operational energy-related GHG emissions can be reduced by

  • Efficiency measures and building electrification
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Refrigerants: Low-GWP, minimizing volume, and improving management
  • Renewable energy sources (on and off site) and energy storage
  • Building-grid integration and real-time carbon signals

Increasing stringency and enforcement of energy codes are critical for decarbonization.

Whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA) must be considered in future building codes to reduce embodied and operational GHG emissions related to buildings and their HVAC&R systems.

Building performance standards (BPS) should be considered as a policy tool for existing building decarbonization.

Building decarbonization strategies and policies must consider

  • Mitigating impacts on disadvantaged communities and less-developed nations
  • Healthy, safe, and comfortable environments
  • Environmental and social impacts
  • Sustainability
  • Resilience
  • Economics

     Translation: Spanish

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      To support global building decarbonization, ASHRAE recommends that governmental and nongovernmental institutions focus on the following areas.

      Research, Standards, and Guidelines Development

      • Promote research and development programs that investigate and adopt building decarbonization strategies that lower GHG emissions and increase grid flexibility without compromising indoor environmental quality and safety.
      • Promote research and development of heat pump technology.
      • Support the development, update, and adoption of relevant standards and guidelines that facilitate the whole-life-cycle reduction of GHG emissions from new and existing buildings.
      • Encourage standardization of measurement and labeling of embodied carbon in building materials, systems, and equipment.

      Improved Design and Equipment Applications

      • Balance safety, energy efficiency, cost, and environmental impacts to achieve building decarbonization. Advance the design, development, and application of HVAC&R equipment and systems that minimize GHG emissions during the life of the equipment.
      • Encourage greater collaboration and the development of standards and guidelines among the energy, transportation, and building sectors to improve secure building-grid integration, data communication, and optimization of energy performance (generation, use, and storage).
      • Develop tools, equipment, methodologies, and practices to minimize or prevent GHG emissions during installation, operation, maintenance, retrofit, and decommissioning of buildings and their systems.
      • Develop the data and methods needed for calculating practical, repeatable, and verifiable procedures for estimating embodied carbon in HVAC&R equipment and mechanical systems.

      Workforce Development

      • Work in partnership with industry to increase the capacity and opportunities for a skilled workforce supporting building decarbonization.
      • Support funding for building decarbonization training and curriculum development.

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      Education and Training

      • Develop technical guidance, standards, training, certification and other tools to support building decarbonization policy goals.
      • Support research that develops and advances technologies and practices to minimize building GHG emissions.
      • Develop policies and recommendations based on global science related to the building sector’s environmental impact.


      • Strengthen the decarbonization components of ASHRAE standards every three to five years, consistent with achieving a fully decarbonized built environment by 2050.
      • Provide resources to support building performance standards (BPS) development, implementation, and compliance.
      • Develop and revise guidelines and standards to reduce building GHG emissions while maintaining or improving building indoor environmental quality, sustainability, and resilience.

      Research and Technology

      • Support research that develops and advances technologies and practices to minimize building GHG emissions.
      • Promote whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA).
      • Advance HVAC&R technologies and practices that minimize refrigerants’ environmental impact while enhancing performance, cost-effectiveness, and safety.


      • Develop policies and recommendations based on global science related to the building sector’s environmental impact.
      • Take a leadership role in determining and harmonizing one set of aligned definitions and terminology for all building-related carbon terms.
      • Collaborate with other organizations to promote and advance global building decarbonization.
      • Mobilize ASHRAE grassroots members worldwide to encourage sound, balanced, and innovative carbon reduction strategies and become involved with policy-setting entities.

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