This summer, Building 70, the home of Cal Poly’s Facilities Management and Development (FMD), underwent a building renovation. Part of this renovation included installing four new heat pumps to heat and cool a new office space for FMD staff.
This space was previously a warehouse space, which only had natural gas heating. A heat pump is basically an air conditioner and that can also operate in reverse, providing heating very efficiently using electricity, as compared to natural gas. Heat pumps are often ideal technology for renovation projects like this, as gas lines and combustion venting are not needed, minimizing building penetrations, materials and thus, cost.
Cal Poly’s electricity supply has become increasingly clean due to on-campus solar projects (like GoldTree Solar) and a clean grid supply from PG&E, making switching to electricity and reducing natural gas consumption a key strategy to reducing Cal Poly’s greenhouse gas emissions. Heat pump technology will play an important role in Cal Poly’s future and Building 70 is just the beginning.