Decarbonization is a present focus at the international, national, state / provincial and local levels. For large discrete facilities and campuses, decarbonization will not be a short-term process for large scale heating and cooling systems. This presentation scope will identify challenges and potential solutions for a multi-year roadmap toward large scale facilities and campus decarbonization.

International and national governance with regards to human influenced climate change is currently dictating the planning, design, construction, and operations of new facilities of low carbon footprint, carbon neutral adaptability, or carbon neutrality at original occupancy. Existing large-scale facilities constructed prior to 2010 comprise a clear majority of all buildings, which were design and constructed under codes that had minor or minimal focus on carbon neutrality, and does not readily enable decarbonization adaptation of facility energy systems. Governance actions have been in process within the past decade and are expected for existing facilities, without regard of age and equipped technologies. It is also anticipated large discrete buildings and large campuses will either have internally or externally imposed governance of existing facilities decarbonization or full carbon neutrality within the next 10-20 years. The paramount challenges for large buildings and campus decarbonization includes: 1) addressing existing and new large-scale heating and cooling systems that consume significant energy, 2) non-existent or cost prohibitive technology for decarbonization, and 3) capital funds to employ decarbonization strategies. Facilities owners and operations professionals are at best moderately equipped with comprehensive strategic plans to update or replace the carbon energy intensive HVAC systems with carbon neutral systems. This presentation will outline the premier challenges and offer potential decarbonization process roadmap for large-scale facilities



David Handwork is the Chief Engineer at United Commercial Energy Partners, and serves as the APPA liaison to ASHRAE. David has been an active ASHRAE member for 21 years, serving on SSPC 90.1, TC 9.7, and MTG Effective Building Operations.
Master of Science Mechanical Engineering, University of Arkansas – 2010
Bachelor of Science of Agricultural Engineering, Arkansas State University – 1993
Professional Career
United Commercial Energy Partners 2022 – Present
Chief Engineer and Director of Arkansas Operations
Arkansas State University 2001 – 2022
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management May 2016 – 2021
Director of Planning Design and Construction April 2011- May 2016
Director of Engineering Services 2001-2011
Camfil-Farr, 1999 to 2001
Design Engineer and Customer Service Manager for Gas Turbine Inlet Filtration Division
Riceland Foods, Inc., 1993 – 1999
Operations Manager – Stuttgart Grain Dryer 1997-1999
Construction Project Engineer – Commodity Operations Division 1993-1997
Professional Memberships and Accomplishments
Arkansas Registered Professional Engineer #9535
Texas Registered Professional Engineer #142829
APPA Certified Education Facilities Professional, 2019
APPA, Leadership in Higher Education Facilities (www.appa.org)
2022 – Present, Standards and Codes Council Chair
2018 – 21 APPA International – Vice President of Information and Communications and Board Member
2019 and 2022 APPA Meritorious Service Award
Ten Published “Code Talkers” articles in Facilities Manager, APPA trade periodical
2014 President – Central Region (AR, TX, OK, MO, KS, NE, SD, ND, Manitoba)
2012 APPA Pacesetter Award Recipient
APPA Board Liaison to ASHRAE, 2021 – Present
American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers
2018-19 President Elect Advisory Committee Member
SSPC 90.1 Project Committee Member, Mechanical Subcommittee Member
Technical Committee TC 9.7 Education Facilities, 2017-19 Chair
MTG Effective Building Operations, Vice Chair