Industry News

Increasing Carbon-Neutral Projects in 2016

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The latest buzzword in the building industry is “carbon-neutral,” and it just might stick around for a while. At first, carbon neutrality was an idea: balancing the amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount that is offset or sequestered. Now, we’re seeing actual carbon-neutral projects crop up around the country, and conversation turn toward this latest version of sustainable building practices.

One place that conversation is taking place is in the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) – a group of international cities committed to achieving aggressive long-term carbon reduction goals. Their Innovation Fund is accepting proposals next week for city-by-city sustainability efforts. This will begin the process of creating a consortium of carbon-neutral cities, with a longer-term goal of advancing carbon-neutral technology.

While the CNCA has set a goal of 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050, Seattle is striving for complete carbon neutrality by that same benchmark. Seattle has moved beyond planning to actually doing and is already one of the top 10 cities in the country for LEED® and ENERGY STAR®-certified buildings. On the opposite coast, South Carolina real estate developer Richards Gregory has already achieved carbon neutrality, creating a zero-carbon office building.

Not only are we inspired by this movement around the country, we’re also excited to see how our own products can contribute to these efforts. We note, for example, that solar energy is a key component to carbon-neutral projects, making our electric heat pumps a smart HVAC choice. As carbon-neutral moves from buzzword to, perhaps, standard, it’s an exciting time to research, develop and live!