Urban Energy Modeling Approaches for City-scale Decarbonization

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Buildings account for 40% of annual greenhouses gass (GHG) emissions worldwide. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPCC), we need to take immediate and significant action to avoid the worst effects of global climate change by achieving a 45-50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. NYC has set a target of reducing the city's GHG emissions by 80% by 2050. Weaning our buildings off fossil fuels in order to help achieve this target will require a radical infrastructural transformation with massive implications for today’s urban planning and design professionals. This session will explore some of the strategies and tools that urban planners and designers can utilize in the practice to building-scale design and retrofit strategies to city-scale decarbonization planning.

Speakers:
Carlos Cerezo, Environmental Performance Director, KPF Architects

Cerezo will review the data-related challenges present when modeling building energy use at the city scale and how the Urban Building Energy Modeling (UBEM) field is developing urban-scale-specific modeling methods to address them. He will present insights from his research working with the cities of Boston and Kuwait, and how that experience might inform NYC's approach to implementing LL97 in the next 10 years.

Carlos Cerezo is a building science expert and the Environmental Performance Director for KPF. He leads a firm-wide effort to minimize the environmental impact of KPF's projects. He also develops tools to incorporate building performance simulation in design. Before joining KPF, Cerezo worked as a research scientist and instructor at MIT’s Sustainable Design Lab, collaborating with municipalities including Boston, Lisbon, and Kuwait in urban energy analysis. Cerezo is a licensed architect by the University of Seville (Spain 2010) and has practiced in Spain, Japan, and the United States. He also holds a Master’s from Harvard University (2013) and a PhD from MIT (2017).

 Shreshth Nagpal, Principal, Elementa Engineering

Nagpal will present an urban-energy analytics that can be used to develop prioritization plans for cost effective GHG reduction strategies. The engine combines established building energy model generation techniques with data-driven machine learning methods.

Shreshth Nagpal's professional focus over the past fifteen years has been to understand and model building performance that results from the interaction between envelope configuration, climatic context, functional requirements, conditioning systems, and occupant behavior. More recently, his doctoral research focused on developing automated workflows to construct living urban energy models that are designed to systematically explore future energy scenarios and identify areas of maximum potential savings.

James Perakis, Associate, Elementa Engineering

Perakis will focus on modeling techniques to make informed predictions in the absence of reliable data. This approach to urban planning and design, which relies on parametric analysis and interactive data visualization, allows for rapid assessment and operationalizing of aggressive climate-action regulations.

James Perakis is a multidisciplinary designer with experience in architecture, urban design, and design technology. He focuses on sustainability at a variety of scales, from individual buildings to large infrastructure and planning projects, with a particular interest in developing workflows and applications that support the design process. His work helps bridge the gap between architects and engineers, helping teams develop high-performance solutions for the built environment. At Elementa, Perakis works on building performance analysis, visualization, and applications development to support the firm’s deep green engineering efforts.

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