Design and Construction, Green Building, Maintenance and Operations, Sustainability/Business Continuity

ASHRAE Offers Guide on Grid-Interactive Buildings and Decarbonization

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has released a new guide focusing on the critical role of grid interactivity in the decarbonization process.

The Grid-Interactive Buildings for Decarbonization: Design and Operation Resource Guide is the second in a series of guides developed by the ASHRAE Task Force For Building Decarbonization (TFBD) and provides information on maximizing carbon reduction through buildings’ interaction with the electric power grid.

“Grid-interactive buildings actively engage with the energy grid. They utilize smart technologies, renewable energy sources, and energy storage systems to optimize energy consumption and generation. This allows them to respond in real-time to grid signals, thereby reducing overall demand and GHG emissions,” said ASHRAE TFBD Chair Kent Peterson P.E., Presidential Fellow. “Integrating buildings with the electrical grid is a critical component in the decarbonization process. It’s an emerging focus for building professionals, and ASHRAE is thrilled to provide new guidance as we collectively work towards a more sustainable, resilient, and energy-efficient built environment.”

Decarbonizing the electric grid necessitates a fundamental shift towards a dynamic, two-way relationship between buildings and the grid. This approach enables buildings to respond flexibly to grid conditions, including time-varying carbon emissions rates. In recent years, the significance of this two-way communication has grown, driven by the integration of renewable energy sources, grid reliability concerns, and the impact of extreme weather conditions. These factors have prompted utilities, grid operators, and the building community to reassess the role buildings can play in supporting grid reliability and decarbonization by reshaping their energy consumption patterns.

The guide offers best practices, design considerations, and operational guidelines to target the three primary value streams of grid integration:

  1. Reduced Carbon Emissions: Learn how to make significant contributions to reducing carbon emissions through smart building-grid interaction.
  2. Cost Savings: Discover strategies to optimize energy usage and save on operational costs.
  3. Resiliency: Enhance your building’s ability to withstand and adapt to changing grid conditions, ensuring uninterrupted operations.

While the guide primarily focuses on commercial and multifamily buildings, it also includes relevant aspects for the residential and industrial sectors. In addition to design guidance, the resource guide provides operational recommendations for both new and existing buildings, empowering them to optimize their available demand flexibility.

The guide is available at the ASHRAE Bookstore, and more related resources are available at the TFBD webpage.

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