Decarbonizing our High-Rise Buildings

August 2022

The typical residential building dedicates nearly two-thirds of its energy consumption to providing heat and hot water.  High-rise buildings remain dependent on inefficient steam heating systems which rely on gas.

Eliminating carbon emissions improves comfort, health and quality of life.  Studies show that negative impacts from burning gas include reduced air quality and higher rates of asthma in children.  Pollutants, which include carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, have known negative impacts on cardiovascular and respiratory health.  Studies have found that children in homes with gas stoves have a 42 percent increased risk of asthma symptoms and 32 percent higher risk of lifetime asthma.

New York Housing Authority (NYHA), which provides housing for nearly 400,000 residents, is trying to improve health while reducing greenhouse emissions.  Their plan is to fully electrify their buildings by 2050 while moving away from fossil-fuel heavy systems to little-to-no-carbon electricity.

Making our high-rise homes more energy efficient and fossil fuel free creates a more comfortable and sustainable lifestyle.