Code Readiness Electrification of Nonresidential Space Heating: Designer Interview ReportProject Number ET21PGE7201 Organization PG&E End-use HVAC Sector Commercial, Other Project Year(s) 2021 - 2023
The installation of all-electric HVAC systems, particularly in commercial or nonresidential buildings, will play a key role in meeting California’s carbon reduction goals. However, barriers persist for owners, mechanical designers, and contractors when pursuing all-electric HVAC solutions. Identifying the real and perceived barriers to all-electric HVAC, and pathways to dismantling these barriers, is critical for building energy code development and long-term adoption.
To address this knowledge gap, the Code Readiness research team conducted interviews with leading mechanical engineers in California. This study aimed to gather opinions from a range of commercial building designers on their best practices, design strategies, challenges, technological limitations, and their perceived barriers to widescale adoption of all-electric HVAC strategies. This report summarizes the interview findings and identifies six HVAC technology types used by designers on all-electric new construction and retrofit projects. The report also outlines the use cases, benefits, and challenges of implementing each identified technology, presents energy code considerations, and defines priority focus areas for future research.