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logoShaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

2024-25 Decarbonization Challenge

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 What is Decarb?

Building decarbonization describes methods that reduce human made GHG emissions related to buildings.

For more information and technical resources visit the Center of Excellence for Building Decarbonization (CEBD) website and knowledge hub.

The Challenge

Dennis Knight has announced his presidential theme, workforce development and DEI. His plan includes continuing the Decarbonization Challenge Fund, a year-long competitive fund ($1,000-$10,000) program to implement decarbonization projects within local chapters that are tied to this year’s presidential theme. This program is implemented through the YEA committee with grassroots outreach through the YEA chairs/ committees at each chapter.

Challenge Timeline

The intent of the program is to receive, review, award, and implement the funded projects within a single society year. Applicants are expected to meet the schedule below, and incorporate the schedule into their proposed projects:

  1. November 15th, 2024: Applications due
  2. December 13th 2024:  Intimation to selected chapter / team
  3. January 2025: Awards made with funds going to local chapter for use on the project
  4. February 2025: Winning applicants in attendance at the 2025 Winter Conference in Orlando to be recognized by ASHRAE President at President’s Lunch
  5. February 2025 and June 2025: Projects will be completed
  6. Spring of 2025: Project Teams will be requested to submit a mid-project update with a short narrative and photos
  7. June 2025: Project Teams will be invited to participate in a panel at the 2025 Annual Conference in Phoenix to discuss the implementation of their Project

Challenge Requirements

Application submissions must meet the following criteria:
  1. The primary applicant must be a Full, Associate, or Affiliate member of ASHRAE.
  2. All mandatory questions within the application must be completed.

 Application Review

Applications are reviewed using a scoring system that awards a dedicated number of points to each question/qualification based on this rubric. Only applications which submit all required documents and information will be considered. Each application will be independently scored by multiple reviewers. Consideration will also incorporate the relative impact to global decarbonization, and the scalability of the project.

Applications close on November 15th, 2024


 Examples of Eligible Submissions

Decarbonizing the built environment will require an incredibly broad array of actions! Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about their submissions, collaborate with other local engineering and community organizations, and engage industry partners to maximize impact and visibility of ASHRAE decarbonization efforts.

  • A college ASHRAE chapter uses funding to build and test a combination solar hot water heater & oven which can take the place of burning biofuels for communities which do not have access to electrical infrastructure for decarbonizing water and food generation. The design is published as a free open source resource with construction instructional videos provided by the project team.
  • A local consulting firm donates time and expertise to conduct an energy audit of an existing community center. Project funds are used with matching funds from equipment manufacturers & contractors to install recommended equipment resulting from energy audit. Use the project as a community education tool/space for occupants/community members, while reducing operational carbon emissions.
  • A community garden is built with a compost, rainwater harvesting sytem, and/or educational tools for maintenance showcasing the carbon drawdown and community benefit. The funds provided by ASHRAE are matched by a local building supply store, and a local trade school or trade skills program at a High School is engaged to design and construct the gardening and rainwater harvesting systems.

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Congratulations to the 2023-2024 winning chapters!
Thank you to all participants! There were 43 projects submitted from 37 various ASHRAE Chapters.

The following nine projects were awarded funds:

  • Southern California Chapter, in partnership with California Polytechnic State University Student Branch and San Jose Chapter for a project on Sustainable Energy from Organic Waste. The award amount is $2,000.
  • Kansas City Chapter for a project on Educating and Decarbonizing Kansas City Residences With Smarter Appliances. The award amount is $3,800.
  • Cincinnati Chapter for a project on Decarbonizing Historic Houses of Worship Through Localized Heating. The award amount is $4,250.
  • Cedar Valley Chapter for a project on the Ullo Senior High School Solar Water Heating System. The award amount is $7,000.
  • Taiwan Chapter for a Decarbonization Challenge project on Innovative Positive Energy Building with BIPV Systems. The award amount is $9,000.
  • Chennai Chapter for a project on GreenLearn - Primary School Net Zero Carbon Initiative. The award amount is $10,000.
  • Brazil Chapter for a project on SP Net Zero Carbon Buildings in Brazil. The award amount is $9,800.
  • Hamilton Chapter for a project on a Multi-Plenum Fan Array Coupled with Double Skin Façades and Advanced Carbon Bio-fixation. The award amount is $10,000.
  • Nebraska Chapter for a project on Thermal Envelope Improvements at Community Non-Profit. The award amount is $10,000.

Click here to view more details and photos of each project

Click here to view a recording of the 2023-2024 ASHRAE Decarbonization Challenge: Project Review session at the 2024 ASHRAE Annual Conference 

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