Joe Iaccarino


Systems West Engineers | Director of Energy Services


Track D: Thriving in the Clean Energy Transition

Session D1: Sustainable Energy in Action: Case Studies

May 1, 2024 | 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Low-Carbon Campus Heating: Reducing Emissions in District-Level Steam Systems

Electrification is becoming a cornerstone concept for sustainability in the built environment. However, as campuses with district-level energy systems seek options for transitioning away from fossil fuels in centralized steam production, they are finding that turnkey solutions are few and far between. This paper delves into several conceptual design options that outline pathways for universities and district utilities to recover greater levels of waste heat in buildings and electrify more of the campus central heating system. A key focus is on using chilled water return distribution as a heat source for district-level hot water systems. The paper also addresses the challenges and limitations of converting from low-pressure steam distribution to a low-temperature hot water network. It includes a specific case study at a large state university, highlighting the options the university is considering as they address decarbonization goals for its flagship campus. The study breaks down the campus heating profile by end-use, providing insight into the achievable levels of heat recovery and electrification. Different combinations of design concepts are presented, offering the potential for a substantial 54%-91% reduction in campus emissions.

Speaker Bio

Starting with a background EM&V, Joe has over a decade of hands-on experience in energy efficiency consulting. His knowledge in analysis and modeling of energy-saving measures spans residential, multifamily, commercial, and industrial buildings. A licensed professional mechanical engineer, energy expert, and sustainable design advocate, Joe provides real-time energy modeling and integrated energy analysis for high-performance buildings.