This Invention Could Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Old Buildings Without Displacing Residents

This Invention Could Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Old Buildings Without Displacing Residents

Accesswire ·  06/17 22:00

Two startups that received Wells Fargo Foundation support are fostering new technology with immense potential to modernize buildings and improve people's lives.


NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / June 17, 2024 / Upstate New York's snowy winters don't get to Dason Motayne, but the sweltering summers, which outcompete his mid-century apartment's air conditioning, do.

馬薩諸塞州諾瑟姆普頓/ ACCESSWIRE/ 2024年6月17日/ 紐約州北部多雪的冬天不足以讓達森·莫特恩(Dason Motayne)舒適度過,但悶熱的夏天比中世紀公寓的空調更難熬。

"I think [my AC] is about to die," he said. "It's an old building, so it's hard to regulate it in the summertime."


That old building - the 418 Fabius senior public housing complex in Syracuse, New York - is far from unique. It was built in the 1950s, a time when the U.S. government authorized a huge influx of some 135,000 units of public housing per year. In 2018, inspectors found more than one in four public housing units were in a state of disrepair (PDF). Whether due to poor insulation or little to no air conditioning, these public housing buildings struggle with cooling, which means that the disproportionately older and chronically ill residents are more vulnerable to poor indoor air quality and worsening heat waves.


Unfortunately, these types of public housing buildings have seen fewer investments or innovations that could make them more comfortable - and more environmentally sustainable, said Bill Simmons, executive director of Syracuse Housing Authority, which owns 418 Fabius.

不幸的是,這些類型的公共住房樓房所得到的投資或創新是較少的,不能令人感到更加舒適,更加環保。錫拉丘茲住房管理局的執行局長比爾·西蒙斯(Bill Simmons)說。

"Who's there to speak for the little guy to say, 'Let's try it here in public housing,' where we could benefit and our resources are very, very scarce?" Simmons said.

“誰來代表小人物來說,在公共住房中‘讓我們嘗試一下’,在那裏我們可以受益,我們的資源非常非常稀缺?” Simmons說。

Enter David Goldstein. Together with Lisa Hart, a public health analyst and grants manager at Syracuse Housing Authority, Goldstein is hoping to use public housing as a place to demonstrate a new innovation that could enhance aging buildings around the globe.

這時,戴維·戈德斯坦(David Goldstein)出現了。他希望與錫拉丘茲住房管理局的公共衛生分析師和撥款經理麗莎·哈特(Lisa Hart)一起,在公共住房中展示一項新創新,該創新可助力於全球老建築的改善。

"Heating and cooling are major factors deciding quality of life around the world," Hart said. "It's the marginalized, the lowest income population who'd be able to benefit first from this project."


How can occupied buildings be retrofitted for a net-zero future?


In Queens, 250 miles from Syracuse, Goldstein looks out the window of his home office and sees our heating-cooling problem - and a potential solution.

在距錫拉丘茲250英里的皇后區,戴維·戈德斯坦(David Goldstein)從家裏的辦公室望出去,看到了我們的製冷-供暖問題和潛在的解決方案。

"I have a nice view of Manhattan, and even in just New York City, there are literally hundreds of thousands of buildings that need to be retrofitted if we want to be net-zero by 2050," he said. "We're just not going to do open-heart surgery on all these buildings."


In 2020, Goldstein, an experienced mechanical engineer, was pondering this view when it dawned on him: "Why not wrap buildings in a heated blanket?"


Goldstein invented prefabricated, modular panels with heating, cooling, and ventilation that are installed onto a building's façade. They can work with a variety of energy-efficient HVAC systems, including heat pumps. With these panels, a retrofit - rather than a costly rebuild - can bolster insulation, replace leaky windows, and filter indoor air of mold, smoke, and other pollutants.


These first-of-their-kind panels may work especially well for large-scale housing projects where people already live. By installing the panels from the exterior, residents may be minimally disrupted.


Goldstein founded Hydronic Shell Technologies to test his idea on real buildings. Its potential is huge. Modernizing older, inefficient buildings helps to improve unhealthy indoor air quality, reduce energy use, and save residents money. It could also help to save lives and improve residents' quality of life.

戈德斯坦成立了Hydronic Shell Technologies來測試他的創意。其潛力巨大。對老舊、低效的建築進行現代化改造有助於改善不健康室內空氣質量,減少能源消耗,併爲居民節省開支。它還有可能挽救生命,改善居民的生活質量。

"I couldn't just turn my back on these people that need help," he said. "I really think I can help them."


Funding and partnerships can make scalable decarbonization a reality


Goldstein needed help to get his system out into the real world. He turned to the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, a $20 million competition from the Wells Fargo Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners to scale innovative housing solutions. One of six winners in 2023, the startup received a $3 million grant, paving a way for Goldstein to develop a prototype.

戈德斯坦需要幫助將他的系統推向現實世界。他轉向了住房經濟可負擔性突破性挑戰賽,這是富國銀行基金會和Enterprise Community Partners推出的價值2000萬美元的競賽,旨在推廣創新的住房解決方案。該初創企業是2023年的六個獲勝者之一,獲得了300萬美元的資助,爲戈德斯坦開發原型鋪平了道路。

Once the prototype passes a series of tests, the technology will be installed for the first time on a wing of 418 Fabius in Syracuse. The project is expected to begin in late 2025.


Among the project partners is BlocPower, another startup that received support from Wells Fargo to help more communities access the benefits of clean energy technologies. The Brooklyn, New York-based company participated in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) program and is now overseeing community engagement and construction management for Hydronic Shell's efforts in Syracuse.

項目合作伙伴之一是BlocPower,另一家獲得了Wells Fargo的支持的初創公司,以幫助更多社區獲得清潔能源技術的好處。總部位於紐約布魯克林的公司參加了Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator(IN)計劃,現在正在監督Hydronic Shell在錫拉丘茲市的社區參與和建設管理工作。2如果錫拉丘茲項目成功,BlocPower公司的首席工程師Dom Lempereur說公司可以將Goldstein的技術插入全國負擔得起的住房改建中。""從建造業角度來看,這是非常棒的。"" 他說。""如果我們能在錫拉丘茲演示這一點,我們將非常有興趣將其作爲我們的服務之一。""

"Support that's coming from Wells Fargo is really helping to fund that [cleantech] ecosystem," Goldstein said. "As an industry, we can develop those innovative, those outside the box, solutions that we need in order to solve these huge challenges."

"Wells Fargo提供的支持真正有助於資助那種[清潔技術]生態系統,"Goldstein表示。"作爲一個行業,我們可以開發出我們需要解決這些巨大挑戰所需的創新、另類的解決方案。"

Dom Lempereur, chief engineer at BlocPower, says if the Syracuse project is successful, the company could plug Goldstein's technology into affordable housing retrofits nationwide.

BlocPower的首席工程師Dom Lempereur說,如果錫拉丘茲項目成功,該公司可以將Goldstein的技術插入全國負擔得起的住房改建中。

"From a construction perspective, it's brilliant," he said. "If we can demonstrate this [in Syracuse], we'll be extremely interested to have this as part of our offering."


What will success look like? Goldstein will be measuring energy use, indoor air quality, and heating and cooling after the retrofit. But one of the most important markers will be if residents love it.


"What I hope will happen is that people in other buildings start demanding it," he said.


If they do, it could be the first step into making Syracuse, and then the country, more sustainable.


"This could be so much bigger than this one building," Hart said. "This invention could really be a worldwide phenomenon. Everywhere in the world needs to decarbonize."


A new modular panel from Hydronic Shell Technologies, winner of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, could effectively modernize aging buildings' HVAC systems without disruptive renovation projects that displace residents.
Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge的獲勝者——Hydronic Shell Technologies的新型模塊化面板,可以有效地對老化建築的暖通空調系統進行現代化升級,而不需要干擾性強的翻新項目,從而避免居民被迫搬家。

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