Decarbonization from Policy to Practice – Greenbuild 2020 Session Review

ChuckLohreAptera, Greenbuild

Our review of the session, Steven Guttmann gave us the idea to use the city of Cincinnati’s sanitary sewer system to recover heating and cooling for the district system. You can meet 95% of the city’s heating and cooling by heat recovery. Asim Tahir with Google gave us the idea to store hot and cold water to use 6 months from then. Maybe there is an  unused foundation downtown that can hold water! The entire district systems downtown Cincinnati need to work together to be carbon zero. Rachel DiFranco with the city of Fremont, CA reminded us just how progressive Cincinnati has been with their electric vehicle free parking, solar array construction, aggregate renewable electricity purchases, LED street lights and recycling efforts.

The William J. Worthen Foundation (WJWF) began development of the “Building Decarbonization Practice Guide” last year for the Building Decarbonization Coalition. The Guide will lay out decarbonization policy development, technology solutions, and best practices, as well as addressing typical concerns voiced by owners, designers, and operations personnel. Kyle Pickett (WJWF Executive Director) will moderate this panel discussion in the context of the Practice Guide. Steve Guttmann (Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers) will provide background on the technologies to achieve high performance electrified building design, from traditional heating and cooling systems to domestic hot water and electrified kitchen designs. Rachel DiFranco (City of Fremont) will outline approaches for education and outreach in support of electrification policy and, how the Guide intends to supplement this effort. Asim Tahir (Google) will share some national and global challenges with diverse development teams, varying construction climates, and different grid regions, as well as an overview of Google’s commitment to be carbon negative by 2030 and how electrification plays into their global strategy. The panel will discuss in detail the electrification challenges for California as well as other states and countries looking to decarbonize the built environment.


Define operational decarbonization and why it is important.

Give examples of electrification technologies that are currently available and coming to market, as well as ways to address loads from space conditioning, domestic hot water, and cooking.

Evaluate a range of decarbonization policies being implemented around the country – from natural gas bans to electric-favored incentives – in the context of revised energy standards.

Inform building design, policy, and the evolving landscape to support electrification in your region.



Steven Guttmann
Guttmann and Blaevoet
Steve Guttmann, PE, LEED Fellow, BCxP is a Principal at Guttmann & Blaevoet. He brings more than three decades of leadership in sustainable design, energy conservation, and integrated building design for healthcare, higher education, commercial, and civic projects. His firm has consistently won ASHRAE Technology awards for innovation in sustainable design. He served on the LEED for Healthcare Core Committee from 2004 to 2011, and served as its chair starting in 2008. Steve is also Chair of the Board of the William J. Worthen Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to use the power and joy of collaboration to gather, educate and inspire practicable action for resilient communities. In January 2018, they published the “Onsite Non-Potable Water Reuse Practice Guide”. They expect to issue their latest Practice Guide – “Design Professional’s Guide to Decarbonization of the Built Environment” – before the end of 2020.

steven-guttmann-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-31-05-pm steven-guttmann-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-33-21-pm steven-guttmann-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-34-55-pm steven-guttmann-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-37-01-pm steven-guttmann-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-38-32-pm steven-guttmann-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-40-34-pm

Steven Guttmann screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-42-46-pm


Asim Tahir
District & Renewable Energy Lead
Asim Tahir leads the overall energy strategy for Google’s office facilities. Grounded by his deep technical expertise in buildings and energy, Asim focuses on integrated design solutions that balance innovation, functionality, and ROI. His numerous technology pilots over the last 10 years are now the bedrock of Google’s integrated campus decarbonization strategy.

asim-tahir-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-55-38-pm asim-tahir-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-9-56-54-pm

asim-tahir-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-10-03-52-pm asim-tahir-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-10-04-26-pm asim-tahir-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-10-05-30-pm

Rachel DiFranco
Sustainability Manager
City of Fremont
Rachel DiFranco is a LEED O+M Accredited Professional with a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources & Sustainable Development. She is an accomplished sustainability practitioner with demonstrated expertise in strategic climate mitigation, distributed energy resources, smart city technology deployment, adaptation and resiliency planning, and community-based social marketing. As Sustainability Manager for the City of Fremont, Rachel is responsible for implementing Fremont’s Climate Action Plan, helping the city transition from an auto-oriented suburb into a resilient, sustainable, innovative, and strategically urban city. Major recent accomplishments include implementing a microgrid demonstration project at Fremont Fire Stations to increase operational resiliency, evaluating City fleet electrification pathways and supportive charging infrastructure needs, and an update of the City’s Climate Action Plan to align with a 2045 post-carbon community framework.


rachel-difranco-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-10-11-16-pm rachel-difranco-screen-shot-2020-12-14-at-10-14-52-pm

Kyle Pickett
Urban Fabrick Inc & William J. Worthen Foundation
Urban Fabrick Inc’s Co-founder and COO, Kyle Pickett, is responsible for the consultancy’s West Coast operations. His leadership has established the firm as an influential community partner and reputable for inclusive technical training and successful sustainability projects. Additionally, Kyle is the Co-founder and Executive Director of The William J. Worthen Foundation, a 501c3 public benefit corporation that conducts research and creates outreach initiatives on the planning, design, construction, performance, and beauty of the built environment.

By Chuck Lohre, Editor Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy

Aptera Motors
Get $30 off your Aptera Pre-Order

Click this link and you’ll receive a promo code for $30 off an Aptera pre-order. The 2nd Generation Aptera launched Dec. 4, 2020 and is on track to be the first self charging electric vehicle. The two-person, three-wheeler is covered with solar panels which allow self-charging but  it also comes with a plug for charging. For every person I refer, I’ll earn a $1,000 credit towards an Aptera. After referring 26 people, I’ll score a free standard edition model. I’m a volunteer Aptera Ambassador, ask me about this incredible solution to beautiful design and the ultimate in sustainability! #aptera #apteramotors