Radical Residential Retrofitting
What was radical yesterday is reasonable today. Households all across the country are grappling with sudden spikes in energy costs, and a very short window to decarbonize. We and our fellow congregants are looking to upgrade our leak prone houses, but oy, what to do?
For years, Rachel White (Byggmeister) and Audrey Schulman (HEET) have pioneered brand-new approaches to retrofitting our aging homes. Now these two leading lights will be sharing with us findings they recently presented at Building Energy Boston 2023. White will provide a definitive evaluation of the ‘superinsulation’ mode of retrofit. And Schulman will report on the current status of neighborhood thermal networks, now under construction in many locations. With a flood of federal funding, finding the optimal approach today involves questions not even broached a decade ago, and may not be what we expect. The residential sector must decarbonize at an accelerated rate. Are we and our co-congregants reducing our homes’ carbon footprints radically enough?
Rachel White is CEO of Byggmeister Design/Build, a nearly 40 year-old residential remodeling company that is striving to serve as an exemplary steward of homes and to prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Rachel has been affiliated with Byggmeister since 2008, when she hired the firm to renovate her house. What started as an effort to reduce the energy and carbon footprint of her own home became her life’s work. Prior to joining Byggmeister Rachel taught modern Jewish history to adult learners. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Brown University and a BA in Religion from Haverford College.
Audrey Schulman co-founded HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team) in 2008. A lover of maps, she created the first-in-the-nation statewide zoomable public map of utility-reported gas leaks. Through her co-leadership of the FixOurPipes.org study, she helped municipalities coordinate with utilities to find solutions to fix gas leaks faster and at less expense. She started the Large Volume Leak Study, which discovered a way for gas utilities to identify super-emitting gas leaks and repair them. Together with Zeyneb Magavi, she has developed HEET’s innovative solution to transition gas utilities from gas to networked geothermal, or systems of networked ground source heat pumps. There are several gas utilities now installing thermal networks in Massachusetts and New York.
This is the JCAN-MA June meeting
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 PM (Eastern time)