Beat Blog

by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 03, 2021
The top 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month features strategies for low carbon technologies, toolkits for wastewater energy management and energy project financing, an award-winning solution on the use of cloud-based monitoring systems, and more. ...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 01, 2021
In this episode of Decarbonization Download: 5 Qs with…, Mary Ellen Mika of Steelcase sat down with Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to discuss Steelcase’s goals and progress towards increasing energy efficiency and cutting greenhouse...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 18, 2021
In this episode of Decarbonization Download: 5 Qs with…, Mani Balakrishnan of Zebra Technologies sat down with Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to discuss Zebra’s goals and progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its operations...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 15, 2021
Congratulations to three Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partners who successfully competed for Passive House Design Challenge grants from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC): Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), Community Builders, Inc., and Beacon Communities. Passive...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 11, 2021
In episode three of Decarbonization Download: 5 Qs with…, Ian Lahiff of the City of Orlando sat down with Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to discuss Orlando’s progress reducing carbon emissions through renewable energy, energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 05, 2021
The top 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month feature two new solutions: the Low Carbon Technology Strategies Toolkit and a Showcase Project from Better Buildings partner Gundersen Health System. This list also contains toolkits on energy project...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 27, 2021
In episode two of Decarbonization Download: 5 Qs with…, Tim Wilson of Gundersen Health System shares the unique challenges and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency in the healthcare sector. In this conversation with Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 08, 2021
The top 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month include resources from Better Buildings partners IHG Hotels & Resorts, New York City Housing Authority, and Citizen Energy. This list also includes toolkits on energy project financing, energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 30, 2021
Over the past 50 years, U.S. population has doubled while demand for water has tripled. As demand increases and climate impacts further diminish water resources, deliberate conservation is crucial to improve resilience while saving energy and lowering operational costs.   U.S. EPA figure shows...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 28, 2021
Implementing a robust energy efficiency plan across an organization requires buy-in from leadership – especially when it comes to funding. Balancing costs of upgrades to support energy efficiency with competing priorities for funding is most successful when presented with a clear and compelling...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 23, 2021
Decarbonization is central to efficient operations and robust financial performance. Through the Better Buildings Low Carbon Pilot, DOE is working with market leaders to demonstrate real-world successes in achieving low and no carbon emissions from building and manufacturing operations. To...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 10, 2021
In a recent peer exchange, Better Buildings partners in the healthcare and higher education sectors discussed challenges and solutions related to energy efficiency and renewable energy procurement on a campus setting. The event brought together over a dozen participants from Better Buildings...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 03, 2021
The top 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month include toolkits for wastewater energy management, energy management information systems, clean energy access in low-income communities, project financing, and more. Resources featured in this list...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 31, 2021
The U.S. Department of Energy has released a new, interactive tool that contains a comprehensive listing of microgrid installations across the United States. The Microgrid Installation Database on the Better Buildings Solution Center lists the nation’s 461 operational microgrids that provide a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 26, 2021
Over the past year, the multifamily building sector has played a critical role in addressing the health challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. As most sectors saw a decrease in building operations, the multifamily sector faced the opposite: residents spending more time at home. Building...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 23, 2021
As the public and private sectors pursue organization-wide goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, commercial food service kitchens and restaurants face multiple challenges: identifying new opportunities to improve energy efficiency while adhering to changing local and state regulations...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 10, 2021
This blog originally appeared August 9, 2021, on DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is recognizing 14 organizations for their leadership in the Better Buildings Building Envelope Campaign (BEC). This campaign, introduced in 2020,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 06, 2021
The top 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month feature three successful waste reduction efforts. Resources highlight Better Buildings partners Sprint, Shorenstein Properties, New York City Housing Authority, and IHG Hotels & Resorts and Better...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 02, 2021
Resilience is the ability to resist being affected by or bounce back from an extreme or disastrous event, and it is increasingly important for all building owners. 87% of organizations polled in the 2019 EEI survey indicated that resilience is very or extremely important when considering future...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 28, 2021
Since 2013, all member organizations of Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) have joined the inaugural cohort of multifamily partners taking part in the Better Buildings Challenge to reduce their energy usage by 20% over ten years, while also committing to SAHF’s “Big Reach,” an...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 26, 2021
On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited Grace West Manor, an affordable housing property in Newark, New Jersey, to recognize owner and Better Buildings Challenge partner Jonathan Rose Companies for its progress in making housing healthier, more affordable, and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 16, 2021
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) was founded in 1881 and is Nebraska’s only publicly supported health sciences center. The campus sits on 165 acres in Omaha and enrolls nearly 4,000 students annually. UNMC joined the Better Buildings Challenge in 2016, committing 6.8 million square...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 07, 2021
This year’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit featured two sessions with speakers from the Workforce Accelerator, an effort that supports organizations leading the way in growing a workforce well-equipped for the transition to a higher-performing building stock. Partner Meetup: Workforce...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 02, 2021
The 10 most-viewed resources from the past month include solutions from the higher education, healthcare, hospitality, and multifamily sectors, featuring Better Buildings partners University of Maryland Medical Center, UC Berkeley, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and New York City Housing Authority. The...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 17, 2021
For the second year, healthy and efficient building operations was a popular topic during the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit. Several sessions featured healthcare partners discussing their hands-on experience at the intersection of health and building operations. Commercial real estate (...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 14, 2021
The Department of Energy (DOE)’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit concluded on May 20 after four days of interactive sessions, peer networking, and knowledge sharing. This year, thousands of leaders in the buildings, manufacturing, and energy, water, and waste-efficiency industries came...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 11, 2021
DOE has recently updated its integrated tool suite (MEASUR), designed to help manufacturers increase industrial energy efficiency at the plant level and for specific energy-consuming systems. MEASUR contains capabilities to analyze most major support systems found within manufacturing facilities,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 09, 2021
Through the Better Buildings, Better Plants Waste Reduction Pilot, DOE is working with organizations across all sectors to determine the appropriate metrics, goals, and opportunities to reduce waste. By reducing waste, organizations strengthen their competitiveness and sustainability while...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 07, 2021
Efficiency upgrades often present a dilemma: they save costs once completed, but the initial investment can be prohibitive. A case in point is high-efficiency equipment and building system controls for space conditioning and plug and process loads (PPLs). The good news is that utility incentives...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 04, 2021
The 10 most-viewed solutions from the past month include a strategy for improving portfolio-wide energy efficiency from Better Buildings partner Lendlease, an innovative solution for energy plant management from Better Plants partner Ford, and resources from partners University of Maryland Medical...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 10, 2021
Register now for the 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit taking place May 17-20, 2021. Join us for four days of interactive sessions exploring emerging technologies and innovative strategies in water and energy efficiency, financing trends, workforce development, and much more. We are...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 03, 2021
The 10 most-viewed resources from the past month include newly updated toolkits for energy efficiency project financing, support materials for energy management information system (EMIS) specification, and solutions from partners IHG Hotels & Resorts and New York City Housing Authority. Check...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 30, 2021
Nearly 40 organizations are partnering with DOE as part of the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator. As partners, they are committed to enhancing the energy efficiency workforce by fostering interest, streamlining pathways, and improving skills. These organizations are leading the way in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 27, 2021
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released the “Energy Data Management Guide,” a new resource that provides public-sector organizations with a seven-step approach to establish a robust and sustainable energy data management program. The guide features proven practices from more than 30...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 22, 2021
Walgreens has shown leadership in energy efficiency by achieving a 20% energy savings goal in the Better Buildings Challenge – and doing so in a year when the pharmacy, health, and beauty company stepped up to provide essential products and services to communities across the U.S. throughout the...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 06, 2021
With the onset of to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail sector experienced significant drops in sales across the industry, seeing as much as a 25% reduction in sales from February to April of 2020 with clothing/accessory stores and department stores feeling the largest impact. In-person sales...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 05, 2021
The 10 most-viewed resources from the past month include toolkits for Smart Labs programs, energy efficiency project financing, and solutions from partners IHG Hotels & Resorts and New York City Housing Authority. Check them out! 1. Efficiency-Resilience Nexus Resources This easy-to-use...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 25, 2021
In a recent peer exchange, Better Buildings partners in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors discussed challenges and solutions related to waste reduction and diversion in the medical field. Hosted by the DOE Waste Reduction Pilot team, the event brought together over a dozen participants...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 22, 2021
Warehouses and distribution centers are one of the fastest-growing building types in the commercial sector [November 2020]. Due to increased supply needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing demands of e-commerce, warehouses and distribution centers have become vital to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 18, 2021
In a live, virtual event, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Iron Mountain Data Centers for its success in energy efficiency. Iron Mountain achieved its energy savings goal of 20% across its portfolio. Iron Mountain has now set a second goal of...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 12, 2021
America’s cities face several urgent and compounding challenges: climate change and lack of affordable housing for low-income households. And over the past year, resident health has also emerged as a more critical issue than ever. To address these multiple challenges, four Better Buildings...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 04, 2021
The 10 most-viewed resources from the past month include a new webinar on climate risk assessments for commercial buildings, a new waste diversion solution from the City of Beaverton, Oregon, plus solutions from partners New York City Housing Authority and InterContinental Hotels Group. Check them...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 23, 2021
Registration is now open for the 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit, happening May 17-20, 2021. This virtual symposium will bring together Better Buildings and Better Plants partners, industry experts and stakeholders, and professionals to explore the latest energy and water efficiency...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 10, 2021
Better Buildings commercial real estate partners LBA Realty and CBRE participated in the Better Buildings Webinar “Climate Risk Assessments: Commercial Buildings & Portfolio Resilience” to share their unique solutions to climate risk factors in their respective portfolios. The session focused...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 09, 2021
It’s been a tough year to be in the hospitality industry. Hotels were among the first businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are still travelers out there who need a safe place to stay – whether they’re an essential worker, travelling for work, or in need of a socially-distanced...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 09, 2021
Ten years after Home Energy Score™ was announced as a tool to measure a home’s energy efficiency, the program reported its 150,000th score. For prospective homebuyers, this milestone represents progress in providing reliable information about a home’s efficiency and other key characteristics when...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 08, 2021
The 10 most-viewed resources from the past month include a new Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) technology specification, a toolkit for data centers, and solutions from Better Buildings partners InterContinental Hotels Group and New York City Housing Authority. Check them out! 1....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 15, 2021
U.S. data centers consume about 70 billion kWh of electricity per year, close to 2% of all U.S. electricity use. If all data centers were 20% more efficient, we could save about 14 billion kWh and $1.4 billion annually. To address this opportunity, DOE launched the Better Buildings Data Center...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 14, 2021
As we move into 2021, we are excited to share the most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past year. We’ve gathered the 10 most popular partner solutions and the 10 most popular toolkits from 2020 – check out the ones you may have missed! Jump to Toolkits PARTNER...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 22, 2020
The Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator (BBWA) includes nearly 40 organizations across a diverse array of sectors that have committed to enhancing the energy efficiency workforce through three key areas: building interest, streamlining pathways, and improving skills. Partners provided updates...

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