Ben Myers

This episode of the REIT Report’s ongoing series “Building to Zero” features Ben Myers, senior vice president of sustainability at BXP (NYSE: BXP) and continues to dig deeper into the real estate industry’s journey to reduce emissions from the built environment.

Myers shares his view on why it is so important to take a long term view on electrification, which refers to the replacement of fossil fuel equipment, like internal combustion engines and gas boilers, with electric motors or heat pumps.

The common case for electrification is that building owners can decarbonize and utilize equipment that is significantly more efficient. “Electrification of everything is what I'm here to talk about today. And in particular, how to spread this religion around electrification. I am a believer that we need to electrify the built environment and I'll explain why, but I do think that we need to take some important steps to get there,” Myers says.

Myers goes on to outline five key strategies that he believes must be adopted in order to achieve decarbonization of the built environment:

1. Close the gap between policy and practice with better incentives.

2. Demonstrate the reliability of heat pumps.

3. Allow and support hybrid electrification strategies through at least 2040.

4. Prepare buildings to be grid-interactive-ready through modernization, planning, and communication.

5. Keep the grid decarbonization on track and avoid new natural gas power plants to meet peak demand electricity needs. “We're greening the grid, and we're growing the grid. It's an unprecedented challenge to solve in tandem. It's going to require the mobilization of a wartime effort to get it done. I don't think people quite understand that yet,” he says.

Other podcasts in the Building to Zero series