Beat Blog

by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 27, 2016
DID YOU KNOW that the first-ever National Energy Efficiency Day is next week and Better Buildings is helping lead the conversation? Here's our cheat sheet of what to expect and how your company or organization can participate next week. WHEN: October 5th, 2016. Join us on Twitter for a chat from 1...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 26, 2016
The Industrial sector racks up an annual energy bill of about $200 billion while running the backbone of the American economy and accounting for 30 percent of all U.S. energy consumption. But the power of American manufacturers is on full display during the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC...
by Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Team on Sep 26, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partners are looking ahead. With a few barriers knocked down for access to energy data, they now are turning attention to enhancing data delivery. Effective data delivery helps to guide future phases of research and development for new energy efficiency...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 19, 2016
The World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC), the largest energy conference and technology expo for business, industrial, and institutional energy users is almost here. Starting Wednesday and running through Friday, September 21 to 23, energy leaders are coming together in Washington D.C. to hear...
by Rois Langner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Marta Schantz, Waypoint on Sep 16, 2016
Reducing plug load energy use in a multi-tenant office can be a challenge. Balancing tenant engagement with technology installation and everything in between takes careful planning, execution, and good communication – and the benefits of these efforts have not been well documented. To better...
by Alice Dasek, U.S. Department of Energy on Sep 15, 2016
Many public institutions hope to find the upfront funds to retrofit buildings knowing that the investments will reap savings for their organizations. But the truth is, it’s not always easy to get the money and ensure the savings all at the same time (which as energy professionals know, is what is...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 13, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out August's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Sep 06, 2016
As social media expands its many channels – LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype – so do the innovative tactics institutions use to reach their communities. Arlington County, Va., pursued a non-traditional way of engaging both residents and the public sector at large. The latest addition to the Arlington...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 31, 2016
Restaurants are compact spaces that are outfitted to bring food and people together. And when the approach to making food and hosting people leans toward energy efficiency, then you've got the Wendy's/Wendco Mobile, Alabama restaurant with savings of 37 percent or 50 percent per transaction. Get a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 31, 2016
It’s easy to justify making water conservation a priority when just reducing water use by 20 percent can net almost $50,000 in savings in some markets. Even outside a drought-affected region, it’s smart to save water. The benefits of water savings are economic and environmental, and partners in...
by Monica Kanojia on Aug 30, 2016
Contrary to popular belief, actualizing energy savings isn’t as simple as solely installing energy efficient equipment, it requires a holistic approach. Shari’s Café decided to tackle energy consumption head on when the company realized that in order to maximize the full savings potential of the...
by Jason Hartke, U.S. Department of Energy on Aug 24, 2016
University campuses are a treasure trove of energy efficiency opportunities, as their facilities teams will tell you. The challenge is not in identifying opportunities for savings, but in finding the time to pursue them among competing demands for facility teams’ time. Keeping systems running to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 16, 2016
Back with a bang, the Better Buildings Webinar Series is officially happening again. We'll be taking on the most pressing topics facing energy professionals, with new experts leading the conversations on proven best practices, cost-effective strategies, and innovative new ways to approach...
by Joan Glickman, U.S. Department of Energy on Aug 16, 2016
We’re proud to unveil the new Home Energy Score report and website – as well as a wealth of new materials designed to meet the needs of our partners, stakeholders, and homeowners across the country. Based on feedback from partners as well as lessons drawn from studies, the new site and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 11, 2016
Charter Steel's Saukville plant is home to its corporate offices as well as a fully integrated mill that includes a melt shop, state-of-the-art rolling mill and a processing facility. The Wisconsin plant recently decided to carry out a mini energy blitz (modelled after treasure hunts) to uncover...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 01, 2016
Sometimes all it takes is a good story, or in this case a great pitch to turn an organization into a committed energy savings machine. This year at the Better Buildings Summit we asked our goal achievers to let us in our their secrets: be it technology, the people behind the strategies, or unique...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 01, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out July's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 01, 2016
It's not always expected that a renewable energy system can take a building from zero to sub-zero in a single year. But that's exactly what happened when Suncoast Credit Union decided to build its Bushnell Service Center, a unique zero-energy building that integrates renewable energy with high...
by Sapna Gheewala, U.S. Department of Energy, ORISE Fellow on Jul 25, 2016
Camas School District implemented a centralized natural resource policy to promote the value of sustainability, prioritize reduction goals, and establish a framework for school staff to measure building energy efficiency improvements. The Camas School District united school officials, faculty,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 20, 2016
Whether it’s a sprawling transportation hub or medical institute, there are many options for incorporating sustainable design into buildings. On tours of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center (EMTOC) in Maryland during this year's Better...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 18, 2016
PNC Place and The Tower Companies Millennium Building are multi-tenanted buildings in the often variable climate of the Potomac swamps, and have gone beyond a traditional “low-hanging fruit” approach to achieving energy efficiency. For starters, PNC Place, the regional HQ of PNC bank, features a 3...
by Kiran Thirumaran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Jul 11, 2016
Corporate annual energy meetings are a fantastic way to engage employees and disseminate information throughout an organization—they’re a keynote activity in many established company energy programs. The Electrolux Green Spirit Summit is one example, and provides a platform for the corporate...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Jul 07, 2016
Portland Public Schools (PPS) made it easy to fund energy efficiency upgrades without compromising a limited capital budget reserved for emergency needs. The district created a two-pronged approach. It would combine recovery zone economic development bonds for smaller, owner managed projects with...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 06, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out June's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 05, 2016
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center first opened its doors in 2008, marking the completion of a monument that can't be missed across the District's skyline. This May the center welcomed 20 Better Buildings Summit tour participants, taking them behind the scenes of energy upgrades. Tour participants...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 29, 2016
As in years past, the 2016 Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC) served as a one-of-a kind conference that focused on energy in the industrial sector and complemented DOE’s mission of sponsoring various initiatives to build awareness about energy efficiency and clean energy topics. Making...
by Bruce Lung, U.S. Department of Energy on Jun 28, 2016
Tapping the knowledge and ingenuity of employees can yield strong results in the quest to improve energy efficiency. This past May, the first Better Plants Treasure Hunt Exchange event took place at the powertrain plants of Nissan North America in Decherd, Tennessee, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 27, 2016
Through the Better Buildings Alliance's technology and market campaigns, hundreds of private sector companies, and state and local governments, universities, and others, are working with DOE to explore what's next in emerging technology, and pinpointing particular nuances for effective...
by Jay Paidipati, Better Buildings Alliance, Renewables Integration Technology Solutions Team on Jun 23, 2016
The economic and environmental benefits of solar are known to business owners across multiple sectors. Despite the declining cost of solar (with prices dropping 50 percent since 2010) and the technology becoming more popular and accessible (with more applications like multi-faceted roofs,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 20, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Cleveland Clinic has established the largest Green Revolving Fund in the healthcare industry to date. During the Better Buildings Summit in May 2016, Cleveland Clinic announced its $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund to finance and implement sustainability...
by Rois Langner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Jun 15, 2016
How much do you really know about controlling Plug and Process Loads with Advanced Power Strips? Plug and Process Loads (PPLs) account for about one-third of the energy consumed in commercial buildings. That equates to $56 billion a year. A new technology has emerged to help reduce that number by...
by Monica Kanojia on Jun 14, 2016
Driving the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through efficiency projects in the retail sector can be difficult, particularly when many energy managers lack awareness of financing mechanisms available to them to fund their projects. To address this market barrier,...
by Andrew Burr, U.S. Department of Energy on Jun 13, 2016
On May 26, Better Buildings announced an historic partnership with The CoStar Group, one of the largest providers of information to real estate decision makers in the country, to increase the visibility of energy performance data in CoStar’s online property database. CoStar will collect energy...
by Monica Kanjia on Jun 10, 2016
This year’s Better Buildings Summit was filled with the announcement of several exceptional milestones and Partner achievements. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz lauded the initiative’s $1.3 billion in energy cost savings coupled with the avoidance of 10 million tons of harmful carbon emissions...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 06, 2016
While the idea of sustainability managers might not immediately conjure up suspense or allure like Superman or Catwoman, they are heroes in their own right. They are the ones finding new ways to save their communities from climate change, cutting costs to operate their businesses, and spurring new...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 03, 2016
Here’s something that made us sit up a little bit straighter last week: Two of Las Vegas’ largest casinos, MGM Resorts (a Better Buildings Challenge hospitality partner) and Wynn Las Vegas LCC announced that they have issued notice to stop purchasing electricity from their current utility, NV...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 02, 2016
2016 Summit session presentations now available on the Better Buildings Solution Center Over 300 presentations covering 100 unique session topics. Everything from selecting the right high-impact technologies, organizational strategies, finding financing, creating partnerships, and much more....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 01, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out May's Top-10 solutions below.  1. IHG Implementation Model: Green Engage InterContinental Hotels Group created the IHG Green Engage system, a comprehensive online sustainability platform that allows hotels...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 26, 2016
LINC Housing, a Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner has developed, owned or operated quality affordable housing communities for limited income families, seniors and persons with special needs throughout California for more than 30 years. In 2013 the California Energy Commission (CEC)...
by Scott Wood, EDF on May 24, 2016
Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps program and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge share much in common, not the least of which is an active set of partners committed to improving how they use and manage energy. EDF Climate Corps is an innovative fellowship...
by Monica Kanojia on May 19, 2016
Securing funding for energy efficiency projects within the commercial sector is difficult due to the perceived risk by lending institutions. Architects and engineers have advanced energy efficient technologies considerably over the past several years, which often mitigates any risk associated with...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 13, 2016
This year's Summit concluded with two Secretaries delivering remarks on America's energy-efficient future, and the importance of continued growth in the realms of Better Buildings partners' leadership, increased committments to share new solutions with companies and organizations nationwide, and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 11, 2016
It was a banner year for the Better Buildings Challenge, with bigger results, more partners and deeper impacts on our nation’s energy and water use and economy. 160 trillion Btus of energy saved $1.3 billion saved 10 million tons of avoided carbon emissions 2.3 billion gallons of water saved We’ve...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 11, 2016
Yesterday marked “Partner Day” for the Better Buildings Summit, when we recognized partners for their knowledge and insights with Insider Talks, their remarkable accomplishments in energy and water savings and investments, and rich two-way conversations between panelists and session attendees....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 10, 2016
The first day of the 2016 Better Buildings Summit was a day full of action that set the Better Buildings crew up for more two full days of energy efficiency peer-exchange. The day started off with tours of both commercial and public buildings. Groups broke out and examined DC buildings up close...
by Andre de Fontaine on May 03, 2016
Manufacturers are increasingly trying to get a better handle on their water use. Cutting water use can reduce costs, mitigate risks, and lessen environmental impacts. As population growth, climate change, and drought put additional pressure on certain watersheds, the business imperative for better...
by Joseph Indvik, JDM Associates on Apr 26, 2016
The efficiency revolution will be impossible without effective financing options. Building on their leadership in solving this challenge, nine Better Buildings Challenge Financial Allies will be speaking at the upcoming 2016 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Finance Forum on May 22-24 in Newport, Rhode...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 26, 2016
The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro will keynote the Better Buildings Summit, Wednesday May 11, and will announce the tremendous impact of Better Buildings partners as they continue to work across the nation to cut back...
by Joan Glickman on Apr 22, 2016
Last week the Home Energy Score team attended the 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference in Austin, Texas. Among the sessions, meetings, and networking, the U.S. Department of Energy team took the opportunity to recognize some of its outstanding partners. Joan Glickman, Home Energy Score...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 11, 2016
How often do professionals from the education, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and tech sectors get together AND talk about energy and climate change? If it’s in the city of Atlanta, the answer is at least once a month. That’s because in 2011 Atlanta was one of the first cities to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 04, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out March's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Cindy Zhu, U.S. Department of Energy on Mar 30, 2016
TIAA, one of the first commercial real estate partners to step up to the Better Buildings Challenge in 2011, has been demonstrating their energy and water efficiency leadership ever since. Most recently, TIAA is sharing three new energy and water solutions, bringing its total solutions to five....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 29, 2016
Just two weeks ago the U.S. Department of Transportation's Secretary Anthony Foxx announced at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW), the seven finalist cities vying for a single award of up to $40 million to help define what it means to be a "Smart City" and become the first city to fully...
by Erin Hiatt, Retail Industry Leaders Association on Mar 23, 2016
By now, most companies understand that investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and “going green” can provide a variety of benefits to overall business operations. However, securing the means to do so can still be quite difficult as time, expertise, and especially budget...
by Julia Hustwit, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Mar 22, 2016
Launched in 2011 with a focus on the industrial and commercial sectors, the Better Buildings Challenge expanded two years ago to include multifamily housing, announcing in December 2013, that over 50 partners (public housing authorities, nonprofit housing providers, and market-rate developers),...
by Mark Johnson, DOE on Mar 21, 2016
The Department of Energy welcomed L'Oréal USA to the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program (Better Plants) and it is a beautiful partnership. As the nation’s largest cosmetics manufacturer, L'Oréal is pledging to cut energy intensity by 25% across its five manufacturing plants in joining the...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Mar 21, 2016
Douglas County School District (DCSD) is the sixth largest district in the State of Nevada serving over 6,000 students across 11 schools. The district implemented a multi-pronged financing approach to implement energy savings measures to address its aging school facilities, increasing utility...
by Michael Deru, NREL on Mar 14, 2016
Commercial office buildings are a great target for efficiency projects due to their structured occupancy schedules and high energy intensity.  Proposals that make a strong fiscal case on paper, however, oftentimes fail to reach execution due to the ‘split incentive’ that exists among the different...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 10, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out February's Top-10 solutions below. 1. King County, WA Implementation Model: Fund to Reduce Energy Use (FRED) Energy and water efficiency projects often compete with other priorities for limited available...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM on Mar 08, 2016
For five years, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) releases its annual Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy. The Regional Roundup provides an update on state progress in energy efficiency policies and programs in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region, as well as trends and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 04, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Shari’s Café and Pies, a 24 hour, full service restaurant chain located in the Pacific Northwest, recently became the first full service restaurant to join the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to a 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2025 across nearly 400...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 29, 2016
Last week, we traveled to Florida where we met with three Better Buildings Challenge partners: the cities of West Palm Beach and Orlando, and commercial real estate developer Parkway Properties. As Maria T. Vargas, director of the Better Buildings Challenge participated in tours of some of the...
by Rich Shandross, Navigant and Cara Bastoni, ICF on Feb 26, 2016
Food service organizations face unique energy benchmarking challenges, particularly as energy use can frequently be more closely correlated to the quantity of food served than to the size of the restaurant. Nevertheless, the basics of benchmarking closely parallel those for other sectors, with a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 24, 2016
As the Better Buildings Challenge has made evident, the energy efficiency community is a unique breed. Sometimes it seems like we’re speaking our own language. We have our own blogs, our own podcasts and of course our own goals, metrics and rules of the road for how we get there. And now we have...
by Holly Jamesen Carr, U.S. Department of Energy on Feb 22, 2016
Every year the Department of Energy releases an annual Winter Progress Update highlighting programmatic activities and partner successes of the Better Buildings Alliance. The 2016 Winter Progress Update and Progress Update Infographic lauds the accomplishments of more than 200 partners,...
by John Jameson, ICF International on Feb 22, 2016
For local governments, energy and water efficiency projects are often in direct competition with other priorities for limited financing. King County, WA, however, found a way to provide access to funding for meeting its energy reduction goals without competition with or delay to other critical...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Feb 19, 2016
The City of Boston maintains 24 neighborhood libraries, with the Central Library in Copley Square serving the main headquarters. Referred to by architect Charles Follen McKim as the "palace for the people,” the facility has achieved a 25% reduction in energy consumption by upgrading its energy...
by Maxime Verstraete, Vice President of Sustainability and ADA Compliance on Feb 19, 2016
When Hilton Worldwide was approached to participate in the Department of Energy’s first-ever Better Buildings Challenge SWAP, we were excited, then the questions hit us.  Our systems are so different, how will they know what to look for? What will they say? How will metrics stack up? As you can...
by Kathy Loftus, Global Leader, Sustainable Facilities, Whole Foods Market on Feb 17, 2016
And it is evident by the partnership we’ve begun in the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP. Whole Foods Market is a company that is well aware of the impact that energy efficiency in commercial buildings can have in protecting the environment and saving billions of dollars in energy costs for the U.S...
by Maria T. Vargas on Feb 16, 2016
When we announced the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP last May at the Better Buildings Summit, our goal was to find a new way to highlight leaders and share how everyone can learn from their peers, even those from an industry completely different than their own. After all, that is a large part of...
by Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program on Feb 10, 2016
Charter Steel joined U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program in October 2015. Since then, the manufacturer of carbon and alloy steel rod, bar, and wire has set an overall company goal of reducing energy intensity by 25 percent over 10 years among their three U.S....
by Andrew Feierman, Institute for Market Transformation on Feb 04, 2016
Last week, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the Better Buildings Alliance launched the third annual Green Lease Leaders recognition program. Beginning in 2013, Green Lease Leaders has set the bar for what makes a green or “energy-aligned” lease and put a much needed spotlight on...
by Andrew Burr, U.S. Department of Energy on Feb 02, 2016
Last week, over 60 energy efficiency leaders ranging from the local, regional, and national levels participated in a Better Buildings and White House hosted Roundtable to recognize the accomplishments of cities and utilities in improving access to building energy data nation-wide and to discuss in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 21, 2016
The 2016 Summit is just around the corner --- taking place May 9-11 in Washington D.C. Better Buildings partners are encouraged to register and sign up for showcase project tours, workshops, and speed dating sessions with financial allies (one on one meetings between partners and financial experts...
by Rois Langner, Better Buildings Alliance Technology Team Lead on Jan 14, 2016
Plug and process loads (PPLs) consume nearly one-third of primary energy in U.S. commercial buildings, and their energy use is projected to grow as the number and intensity of plug-in devices continue to increase. Fortunately, there are numerous easy-to-implement strategies to control and reduce...
by Joan Glickman, Department of Energy on Jan 14, 2016
Did you know that the average homeowner spends more than $2,000 each year on energy? Utility costs are a significant part of the cost of homeownership, yet most consumers have little if any information about how much utility bills are likely to be when they buy a house. If you buy a newly built...
by Jess Swaringen on Jan 11, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Digital Realty Trust Inc., a data center solutions and services provider based in San Francisco, CA recently earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification for its facility in Lithia Springs, Georgia.  The certification acknowledges...
by Zach Abrams, ICF International, Michael Meyer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on Jan 08, 2016
Better Buildings Alliance member Costco, a membership warehouse retailer based in the Pacific Northwest, implemented a low-cost lighting technique in its office space that reduced the average wattage per fixture by 80%, and increased staff comfort. Costco buildings have been acquired and modified...
by Chris Cloutier on Jan 06, 2016
In 2014 at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit, cities from around the world signed the Compact of Mayors, which establishes a common platform to capture the impact of the cities’ collective actions through the standardized measurement of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and assessment of...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 06, 2016
This past year, at the Better Buildings Summit, the Energy Department launched the Better Buildings Solution Center, an online tool, hosting hundreds of partner solutions that have been proven to accelerate energy savings in single buildings, and across entire building portfolios. As users browse...
by Jeremy Crawford, Executive Director, Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) on Jan 05, 2016
Technology empowering home buyers to find homes based on efficiency ratings is available and currently being tested. Imagine the next time you are ready to buy a home, going online and being able to search by the energy-efficiency ratings of homes the same way you can search for homes by price, or...
by Andy Mitchell on Dec 21, 2015
Sometimes the greatest energy efficiency tool goes beyond the latest and most efficient technologies. That case is true with Hilton Worldwide, and the company's recent certification under the U.S. Department of Energy's Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. Yesterday, Hilton Worldwide...
by Jason Dingle, Corporate Director Environmental Health, Safety, and Security, JBT Corporation on Dec 17, 2015
A number of years ago, JBT Corporation – a Better Plants partner – began looking into the potential of replacing a large percentage of its Madera, California facility’s electrical power usage with a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system. The food processing machinery and airport equipment-company...
by Richard Shandross on Dec 14, 2015
The Food Service Team of the Energy Department's Better Building Alliance has just released a guidance document on Demand-Controlled Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV).  DCKV is a technology that modifies your exhaust hood and make-up air to save energy (otherwise known as "money") by reducing the air...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 10, 2015
There's no denying that by creating sustainable energy on-site, companies across America are benefiting from utility bill savings, while also reducing carbon emissions in their local communities. Recently, the Solar Energy Industries Association (and Better Buildings Alliance affiliate), released ...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 08, 2015
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio is one of more than 250 leaders from diverse sectors who has stepped up to the Better Buildings Challenge, representing more than 3.5 billion square feet, 650 manufacturing plants, and $5.5 billion in financing investments. Mayor Muoio is also representing the city...
by Monica Kanojia on Dec 08, 2015
One of this year’s resonating themes at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo was the energy-water nexus, which the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge and its partners have taken on as an extension of its energy savings program. All partners that sign on to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 07, 2015
Why U.S. climate leaders are moving their most effective energy strategies from behind the curtain to center stage As the world’s leaders gather in Paris to come up with plans to combat climate change, Better Buildings partners are actively solving climate problems in their own communities and...
by Jacob Dowling on Dec 02, 2015
A commercial lease defines a landlord/tenant relationship from the very beginning, detailing rent price, term length, build out standards and a host of other parameters. The lease negotiation process is often adversarial, with both tenant and landlord mindful of maximizing control while minimizing...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 01, 2015
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out November's Top-10 solutions below.   1. Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool Municipalities, states, and other public and federal agencies are continuously looking for new opportunities...
by Sachin Nimbalkar on Nov 30, 2015
On October 19th and 20th, Better Plants partner, ArcelorMittal, hosted its first Fan In-Plant Training (INPLT) at its Cleveland plant. Over the course of two days, a team of 20 ArcelorMittal staff, and representatives from Dow Chemical Company and Owens Corning, dug into fan energy efficiency...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 24, 2015
We are excited to announce that the Better Buildings Alliance's very own, Dr. Jessica Granderson, the Energy Management Information Systems technology team lead, and Research Scientist and the Deputy of Research Programs for the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division at the Lawrence...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 23, 2015
In October, Dr. Kathleen Hogan of the Department of Energy kicked off a multi-family housing roundtable discussion with the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) at the offices of Central Atlanta Progress. The event was an opportunity for Atlanta-based stakeholders to engage in a wide-ranging...
by Monica Kanojia on Nov 18, 2015
The industrial industry is filled with unique and dynamic projects with substantially high process loads and resource consumption. This sector faces a different set of challenges in attaining sustainably built campuses. Owners must address compliance, regulations and safety of tenants in working...
by Sachin Nimbalkar on Nov 09, 2015
In October, General Aluminum and the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Plants program hosted a four day In-Plant Training (INPLT) event at a Conneaut Plant in Ohio. The INPLT focused on the plant’s natural gas consumption as the Conneaut area is experiencing a natural gas shortage. The goal was...
by Chris Cloutier and Jen Singer on Nov 06, 2015
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which shows that states participating in the Better Building Challenge are leading the way in energy efficiency. Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode...
by Clifton Yin on Nov 05, 2015
As a Better Plants partner, Owens Corning has reduced its worldwide energy intensity by ten percent from a 2010 baseline. But the company is not resting on its sustainability laurels; last week, it dedicated a 2.4 megawatt solar canopy at its downtown Toledo, Ohio, headquarters that will power as...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 04, 2015
Meaty sandwiches, curly fries and shakes take a lot less energy to prepare, thanks to new energy efficiency technologies and efforts deployed by Arby’s Restaurant Group, who joined the Better Buildings Challenge as one of the program’s first food service partners earlier this year. Last week Dr....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 02, 2015
October's Top 10 solutions are featured below. These are the partner solutions most viewed by users of the Better Buildings Solution Center in the month of October. Please let us know if you have ideas or feedback so we can continue to add resources to help meet your goals to improve the energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 26, 2015
Last week we spent time in beautiful Lake Tahoe, and visited the Granlibakken conference center and resort, the showcase project for public sector partner Placer County in California.  The project was special for a few reasons (besides being a top destination for events, weddings and lodging in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 21, 2015
It’s exciting when a Better Buildings partner achieves its energy savings goal, then steps up to best those goals time and time again. That’s exactly what Best Buy has done with its Better Buildings Challenge goal to reduce energy use, and now with its new commitment to reduce carbon emissions by...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 15, 2015
If you ever wondered about what goes into making a box of cereal, and more specifically, how energy efficient solutions can be incorporated into large-scale food production, read on to get the inside scoop on the Energy Department’s tour of Better Plants Challenge partner General Mills Cedar...
by Monica Kanojia on Oct 09, 2015
How the grocery store’s all-around, and all-over approach to corporate-wide sustainability promotes customer loyalty and engages employees The Food Marketing Institute recently held its Energy and Store Development Conference in San Diego, CA where facility managers, designers, and energy modelers...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 07, 2015
We were reminded of the might of American manufacturers last week, with the release of the Better Plants Progress Report, the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) and World Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2. The Better Plants Progress Report released the cumulative and individual successes of over...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 05, 2015
PNC Financial Services Group officially opened its new headquarters, The Tower at PNC Plaza. This was not just any ordinary grand opening. Members of the community, city officials, and PNC executives gathered at the 33-story, 800,000 square foot tower in Pittsburgh to tour the building that is...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 29, 2015
Each month we feature the most viewed partner solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center. September's top-10 solutions are below.            1. City of Milwaukee, WI: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program In order to facilitate energy efficiency improvements of commercial and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 22, 2015
On September 16th, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall met with Los Angeles city leaders to witness the finishing touches being put on the upcoming La Kretz Innovation Campus, and soon-to-be home of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. When the campus...
by Joan Glickman on Sep 17, 2015
It’s becoming easier to demonstrate a home’s energy efficiency performance. This month, through its Better Buildings Colorado program, Colorado became the second state to offer the Home Energy Score statewide, which provides a home’s efficiency score and recommendations for efficiency improvements...
by Priya Swamy on Sep 14, 2015
Last spring, the Energy Department (DOE) launched its Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, a national framework that helps professional organizations develop high-quality training and certification programs for their members. The Guidelines, which provide national recognition to this work, help...
by John Jameson on Sep 02, 2015
The Anteaters are king of the hill – again. Better Buildings Challenge partner University of California, Irvine (UCI) has retained the No. 1 spot in Sierra magazine’s 2015 “Cool Schools” ranking of the country’s most sustainable college campuses. UCI is the first repeat winner as the school...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 01, 2015
1. Cummins: Jamestown Engine Plant Cummins acquired Jamestown Engine Plant in 1974, though the facility dates back to 1968 and much of the original base infrastructure within the building remains. In 2014, the plant installed a new, 2 megawatt solar installation, capable of generating about a...
by Crystal McDonald on Aug 13, 2015
This week the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge director Maria T. Vargas braved the heat and visited Kingswood Elementary in Surprise, Arizona. The school is the showcase project of K-12 partner, Dysart Unified School District (USD). This was the first K-12 school that the Better...
by Bruce Lung on Aug 10, 2015
Recently, one of the leaders among corporate energy managers of the Energy Department's Better Plants Challenge partners, was recognized at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Summer Study on Industry for his leadership and accomplishments in industrial energy efficiency....
by Bruce Lung on Jul 30, 2015
Located in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York State, the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility (IAWWTF) has made energy efficiency and sustainability a priority since it started service in 1987. By using less energy to treat sewage for the community, IAWWTF can mitigate energy price...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 23, 2015
Grocery stores seek to deliver convenience to their customers. However, this convenience—large-scale refrigeration, open refrigerated cases, industrial cooking equipment—also causes the sector to struggle with energy management.  Better Buildings Challenge partner Whole Foods Market created such a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 20, 2015
Last week, in Salt Lake City, Dr. Kathleen Hogan joined Mayor Becker in the presentation of the 2015 Project Skyline Mayor’s Challenge Awards. Project Skyline is the Mayor’s cornerstone initiative to  to improve air quality, boost economic development and improve livability in Salt Lake City. ...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 07, 2015
This summer, Green Retail Decisions is featuring Better Buildings partners and showcasing their leadership to help retailers across the country take the plunge in energy efficiency and learn from the successes of their peers, and even sometimes their competitors.  In case you missed any of the...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 01, 2015
This May, the Better Buildings Solution Center launched at the Better Buildings Summit. We've added hundreds of solutions shared by partners, and encourage you to check it out. As you browse solutions, please let us know if you have ideas or feedback so we can continue to add resources to help...
by Clifton Yin on Jun 25, 2015
The recently concluded 2015 Better Buildings Summit, in only its second year, had a strong and growing industrial presence. The Summit attracted more than 900 participants to Washington, DC, last month to exchange best practices, highlight demonstrated market solutions, and discuss future...
by Bruce Lung on Jun 23, 2015
This past week, members of the Volvo Group Energy Network North America working with Bremer Energy Consulting Services, Inc., conducted an Energy Treasure Hunt at the 1.5 million square foot Volvo Group Trucks engine and transmission plant in Hagerstown, MD. Based on previous success at the Volvo...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 11, 2015
This week the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge director Maria T. Vargas visited three Better Buildings Challenge showcase projects in the cities of Denver and Arvada Colorado, and had the honor of being joined by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 09, 2015
 Amy Hargroves of Sprint, Jon Utech of Cleveland Clinic, Wendall Brase, UC Irvine, Kathy Loftus of Whole Foods and Susan Rochford of Legrand North America.  At the Better Buildings Summit, a "bionic panel" took the stage to discuss how they're going "bigger, better and faster" on energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 03, 2015
Tabetha McCartney, director of development, finance and sustainability for Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly chose five questions to answer during the Summit. Here are her thoughts on energy efficiency: What does sustainability mean to you? Sustainable development is concerned with meeting...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 02, 2015
Heidi Burkart, operations coordinator and energy manager for Camas School District in Washington state and K-12 goal achiever answered our 5 questions; here are her answers: What's one piece of advice you’d like to give to a new partner? Set high goals and expectations for your staff and your...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 29, 2015
Today was the last official day of the Summit, there was still lots of activity in a bunch of great sessions, including: Better Buildings accelerator meetings, on energy data, industrial superior energy performance and outdoor lighting technical assistance A packed house at the workshop on...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 29, 2015
Here's how Walt Brockway, global manager of energy efficiency for Alcoa tackled our 5 questions! What do you think the energy landscape will look like in 2020? 2020 is not far away, from a supply side we will see more reliance on natural gas, less on coal, and we will begin to see a smarter grid...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 29, 2015
Amy Hargroves, director of corporate responsibility and sustainability for Sprint, picked 5 questions to answer. Sprint was recently honored as a goal achievers, for reaching 36 percent energy savings through the Better Buildings Challenge. If you could invent one energy-saving solution, what...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 28, 2015
Emily Soontornsaratool, energy data program manager with the State of Maryland, was next to answer our 5 questions.  What’s the most interesting project you’ve heard of at the conference so far? I went to a great session yesterday on energy data and I’m a data geek--that’s what I do for the state...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 28, 2015
We hope you had a great second day at the Better Buildings Summit, we’ve heard so many great anecdotes of people making connections and learning from our sessions. Here’s a rundown of the day’s events, just in case you missed anything: We opened the day with a keynote from Lynn Orr, undersecretary...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 27, 2015
We had a very busy and productive first day of the Better Buildings Summit! Here are some highlights from the day, in case you couldn’t get to everything. Don’t forget to see late-breaking Summit activity on Twitter, just follow the hashtag #BBSummit2015. Join the community of over 300,000 people...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 27, 2015
We sat down with Paul Wessel, executive director of the Green Parking Council, a nonprofit that helps parking facilities adopt environmental, technological and economic sustainability, to foster the industry’s growth into a positive force in the built environment. He took some time to answer 5...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 22, 2015
Yesterday was great, but today will be even better! There are so many great sessions happening today, plus these great speakers: Dr. David Danielson, U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announces 2014 results and recognizes Better Buildings...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 22, 2015
We’re finally here! This is the first live post from the live reporting at the Better Buildings Summit. We're so glad you've been able to join us. Today you’ll be greeted by: Dr. Kathleen Hogan, U.S. Department of Energy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency welcomes all attendees to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 21, 2015
The annual Better Buildings Summit coming up next week, May 27-29, is a great opportunity to step away from our routines and reconnect with the hundreds of partners and allies working together on Better Buildings. The Summit’s sessions will focus on specific sectors and cross-cutting strategies...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 05, 2015
Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily housing partner Corcoran Management Company recently made waves for adding two new ENERGY STAR certified buildings to its portfolio. Fifty West Broadway in South Boston, and the McNamara Building in Allston, Mass.—one of the first affordable housing projects...
by Holly Carr on May 04, 2015
On Monday the Staples team hosted us at a fantastic energy event: An Eco-Treasure Hunt at their 1 million square foot Hagerstown, MD distribution center. The Eco-Treasure Hunt is a proven, effective model for discovering energy efficiency opportunities at an individual facility, while building...
by Holly Carr on May 01, 2015
Havertys Better Buildings Challenge showcase project is a Virginia Beach showroom, originally built in September 1995. The showroom was in desperate need of an energy retrofit – but without compromising the integrity of the showroom. Following LED lighting retrofits, Havertys has found that HVAC...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 30, 2015
After the city added lighting and controls retrofits, solar window film to reduce solar heat gain from daylighting, central plant upgrades, and implementation of a facility-wide energy management system, the El Paso International Airport has seen annual energy savings of 19 percent. Annual cost...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 21, 2015
Last week the Energy Department travelled to Texas to applaud Better Buildings Challenge partners who have committed their public sector, retail or multifamily housing to 20% energy savings in ten years. Here’s a rundown of our Texas showcase project tours. Tues. April 14 Our Texas tour started in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 15, 2015
In partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences, DOE has released national voluntary workforce guidelines. Developed with feedback from industry experts, these guidelines provide a national framework for certification agencies across the country to roll out quality, consistent...
by Sarah Zaleski on Apr 09, 2015
This morning the Energy Department’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Lynn Orr, visited the John G. Shedd Aquarium, a Better Buildings Challenge showcase project for the City of Chicago. If you’re ever lucky enough to visit the Shedd Aquarium, here’s one more thing to admire in addition to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 07, 2015
Houston’s Pennzoil Place has been making an impression on the city’s skyline for decades, with its iconic skyscrapers’ trapezoidal silhouettes. Less known is that the two-tower building has been undergoing infrastructure upgrades in recent years. Thanks to Better Buildings Challenge partner and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 01, 2015
Welcome! We’re excited to introduce the Better Buildings Beat, an in-depth look at the organizations partnering with DOE through the Better Buildings Initiative. We’ll share our partner’s amazing achievements and best practices being deployed in their facilities to lower energy use, save money and...
by Holly Carr on Apr 01, 2015
If you’ve ever worked in a commercial kitchen or fast-food restaurant then you know all about the equipment inside: the fryers, ovens, dishwashers, heating lamps, fans, and walk-in freezers. They’re necessary to making delicious food – but did you know how much energy they sap? Food service...