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The Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Blog

Attend the Upcoming Low-carbon Space Heating Symposium at the UW Seattle Campus

April 4th, 2017 · No Comments · Energy

morgans_0By Scott Morgan Director of Sustainability at The Evergreen State College
Natural gas has been actively promoted as a ‘transition’ fuel in our national climate change work, and it’s certainly one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels. But the Puget Sound region has used natural gas for heating for decades, and many institutions with greenhouse gas reduction goals have been struggling to figure out the next step in that transition. We’re heating with ‘cleaner’ natural gas, but what’s next?
There are a few technologies that could appropriately replace natural gas for space heating in this region, but each has its own trade-offs that make it challenging to build an effective business case for changing out our existing infrastructure. In an effort to address these challenges, the sustainability offices at The Evergreen State College, the University of Washington, and Western Washington University are building upon our established Washington Higher Education Sustainability Coalition (WAHESC) relationships to collaboratively organize and host a regional symposium on that single question. What’s next for space heating?
Symposium participants will have the opportunity to learn about four possible space-heating options, one conservation approach (waste water heat recovery) and three heat generation technologies that are potentially feasible for large-scale commercial application in existing buildings – anaerobic digestion/renewable natural gas, biomass gasification, and heat pumps. As most facilities and operations managers are aware, none of these options are ideal for all cases. But, where we struggle to develop solutions on our own, we may find a greater strength and capacity in developing solutions as a group. This symposium is one such opportunity to begin information sharing, collaborative conversations, and innovative problem-solving on our common challenge.
We’re inviting facilities and operations managers, engineers, planning directors, and other interested parties to join us in a technical discussion of the opportunities and challenges for low to zero carbon space heating in the Puget Sound Region. Please join us:
·         Friday, May 12, 2017
·         8:30 am – 4:00 pm
·         Alder Hall, UW Seattle
More information may be found HERE ( If you’re interested in attending, please register HERE. (There is no cost for registration, but the costs of parking and lunch are on your own.)


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