heating and cooling.

Keep It Cozy and Green

Achieving year-round comfort requires energy and investment. However, conventional heating and cooling systems are inefficient and contribute to environmental degradation. To reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainable energy use, we must switch to zero-carbon options like energy-efficient heat pumps that run on clean energy to regulate indoor temperature.

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  • Phase I (2021): A newly formed task force will perform a detailed study of campus central utility plant options to convert to zero carbon heating and cooling - the process will estimate GHG reductions and costs associated from replacement of individual boiler/chiller/towers with centralized technologies as well as energy source modifications.
  • Phase II (2022): Evaluate main strategies which may include; use of electricity to produce steam for heating, potential use of steam for power generation and waste heat recovery, increasing resiliency by adding electrical storage on critical campus buildings.
  • Phase III (2022): Consideration also to be given to biomass digesters on campus or community scale as a renewable source (in conjunction with compatible multi-fueled combined heat power and cooling).


New York State's energy and carbon reduction goals and the SUNY Chancellor's initiatives fro deep carbon savings will assist in providing a framework to encourage further investment into clean energy central plant technologies. Partnering with NYSERDA and other funding agencies will assist in the development of specific campus policies. 


Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

The committee held meetings with the National Grid to assess UB’s energy needs on a macro level. They’re looking to the purchase of batteries from NAPA to offset the demand for high energy use. The committee’s also developing pilot projects to install heat pumps as an alternative to the current HVAC system to measure efficiency and GHG reductions. In the next year, they’re looking into scalability and comparing the advantages of a decentralized vs centralized energy system for the university.


  • Captain: Tonga Pham, associate vice president for University Facilities 
  • Francine Battaglia, Chair, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Bruce Buerger, Assistant Director, Capital Planning
  • Kimberly Navarroli, Director, Design and Construction
  • Nicholas Rajkovich, Associate Professor, Architecture 

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