Beat Blog

by Leslie Zarker, ICF on Jun 21, 2018
On June 16 Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily partner Mercy Housing was honored with the National Apartment Association’s (NAA’s) Return on Energy (ROE) Energy Retrofit Award. The award recognizes smart, innovative solutions that successfully reduce energy in a quantifiable way by showing...
by Sormeh Konjkav (Waypoint Energy), Marta Schantz (Waypoint Energy), Michael Deru (NREL) on Jun 19, 2018
Since 2013, the Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign has been developing and gathering a large array of resources to support and promote commercial building RTU efficiency - see for yourself on the Campaign’s Case Studies and Guidance page. This is great…but what if you’re an HVAC contractor and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 12, 2018
Cleveland, Ohio has a lot to offer year-round, from the Museum of Art and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to the Christmas Story House, made famous in the 1983 holiday classic film. But we’d suggest visiting The Forest City August 21-23 for one of the premier events for energy and sustainability...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 06, 2018
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps is hosting a free, summer-long webinar series focused on Energy, Efficiency, and Expertise. Called the 3E Webinar Series, each installment will feature thought leaders in the energy management sector and is designed to help participants stay on...
by Alison Berry, RE Tech Advisors on Jun 05, 2018
This blog is part 3 of our 5-part series exploring DOE’s ESPC Accelerator Toolkit. The Accelerator was a 3-year partnership of states, local governments, and K-12 schools to expand access to energy savings performance contracting, or ESPC. ESPC is a financing mechanism that provides upfront...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 04, 2018
Here are Top 10 most-viewed solutions from the past 30 days. This eclectic group of resources highlights innovative partner solutions from manufacturers, local governments, and Financial Allies as well as useful tools for ESPC, CPACE financing, and RTU retrofits. Check them out! 1. Energy Savings...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 31, 2018
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants program is helping industry boost its productivity through adoption of energy technology being researched and developed at the 17 U.S. National Laboratories. This, in turn, enables the National Labs to validate the real-world performance and impact...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 31, 2018
Rooftop units (RTUs) are used to condition over half of all commercial floor space in the U.S. and constitute the most common HVAC equipment found in low-rise commercial structures.  The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced RTU Campaign estimates that if all 10-20 ton commercial units were...
by Cindy Zhu, DOE Fellow; Alison Berry, RE Tech Advisors on May 21, 2018
What do you get when you combine 40 attendees, 30 organizations, 4 federal agencies, and a sustainable caterer? The answer is the NAA/DOE Better Buildings Roundtable! The National Apartment Association (NAA) joined the Better Buildings Alliance as an affiliate partner in 2017, and almost...
by Jen Singer, ICF on May 21, 2018
On April 4, 2018, Montgomery County, Maryland held its 5th annual energy summit on the topic of sustainability in the greater community. DOE Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) K-12 Schools Lead Crystal McDonald moderated a panel entitled “Stepping on the EUI Scale: Fine Tuning Energy Efficiency in K...
by Jen Singer, ICF on May 21, 2018
Three Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) K-12 school partners participated in a panel at the Green Schools Conference and Expo on May 4 in Denver. The panel, entitled “Benchmarking for Books: How Schools Save Money through Benchmarking” featured presentations by the Los Angeles Unified School...
by Leslie Zarker, ICF on May 15, 2018
LINC Housing’s SEED Partners, LLC – a Better Buildings Challenge Partner – has installed new solar photovoltaic systems at five properties, impacting 545 low-income family and senior households, reducing resident energy bills, and providing solar installation job training for the community. Co-...
by General Motors on May 10, 2018
Manufacturing is simple math. Well, it’s actually a lot of complex math, but the premise is simple: the more efficiently you can turn raw materials into finished products, the better off the environment and your bottom line will be. That’s true whether you’re producing lip gloss in North Little...
by Sormeh Konjkav, Waypoint Energy; Marta Schantz, Waypoint Energy; Michael Deru, NREL; Cindy Zhu, DOE on May 09, 2018
You may have heard the buzz about the Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign Awards results announced at the Professional Retail Store Maintenance (PRSM) National Conference in early April. In addition to the successful Awards Luncheon, the Department of Energy (DOE) had an expanded presence at the...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 07, 2018
Exciting news in the green leasing field! BOMA International has released its new Green Lease Guide, tailored towards helping owners and tenants reduce their impact by incorporating specific sustainability attributes. Green Lease Guide: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants to Collaborate on Energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 04, 2018
It is National Small Business Week, and small manufacturers are the backbone of our nation’s economy. The vast majority of manufacturing firms in the United States are quite small – of the roughly 250,000 manufacturers in the country, all but roughly 4,000 are considered to be small businesses (i....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 04, 2018
We like to talk about how energy efficiency adds value to high-performance buildings, but how do you prove it? Better Buildings and DOE have been working with The Appraisal Foundation on resources that can help. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) recently released Valuation Advisory #9: Valuation of...
by L’Oréal on May 03, 2018
The Better Buildings Challenge SWAP is a special experience. It’s a chance to peek behind the curtain at what other companies are doing to reduce their energy use. Technology is obviously a big player in this effort, but what really stood out to me during SWAP is that reducing energy use is all...
by Brittany Ryan, RE Tech Advisors on May 02, 2018
Worcester, MA is now home to New England’s largest municipally-owned solar array. The 8.1 MW solar array includes 28,600 solar panels covering 25 acres of a former landfill – that’s equivalent to 19 football fields covered with solar panels! At $69 million in 30-year lifetime savings, the...
by Holt Mountcastle, RE Tech Advisors on May 02, 2018
In 2017, the U.S. experienced a historic number of weather and climate disasters that had a cumulative cost of over $300 billion. Impacts from these events can be mitigated by improving building resiliency. Resiliency improvements typically take the form of retrofits to the envelope, structure,...
by Sormeh Konjkav, Waypoint Energy; Marta Schantz, Waypoint Energy; Michael Deru, NREL on May 02, 2018
When we talk about market transformation, we aim to see high-efficiency technologies becoming part of the mainstream. In updating the Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign’s utility incentive database, we were very excited to see how many RTU-related utility incentives exist compared to four years...
by Jen Singer, ICF on May 02, 2018
This blog is part 2 of our 5-part series exploring DOE’s ESPC Accelerator Toolkit. The Accelerator was a 3-year partnership of states, local governments, and K-12 schools to expand access to energy savings performance contracting, or ESPC. ESPC is a financing mechanism that provides upfront...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 30, 2018
The Top 10 Solutions for April feature the 10 most viewed solutions in the past month. This list includes some new solutions from the industrial, data center, local government, and financing sectors. With popular resources ranging from tools for upgrading parking lighting to guidance on...
by Leslie Zarker, ICF on Apr 30, 2018
In March, Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner WinnCompanies announced the completion of Washington, D.C.’s largest community solar project, aimed at reducing energy bills for low-income residents throughout the nation’s capital. WinnCompanies is participating in Solar for All, a program...
by Maria T. Vargas, DOE on Apr 24, 2018
SWAP 4 is a showdown of manufacturing giants. L’Oréal USA’s North Little Rock plant and General Motor’s (GM) Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant are finely-tuned operations. At both locations, dedicated employees work alongside advanced robots (large and small) to create products we use every day....
by Jen Singer, ICF on Apr 20, 2018
Poudre School District, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, partnered with ReNew Our Schools, a local non-profit organization to launch a month-long student competition to spur innovation and excitement around energy efficiency and sustainability. Sixteen of the district’s 50 schools competed in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 18, 2018
In June, the Energy Department’s Better Plants program will participate in the Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC), a national conference that convenes technical experts, program staff, and energy managers from manufacturing companies to share best practices on industrial energy...
by Alison Berry, RE Tech Advisors on Apr 04, 2018
Energy service performance contracting (ESPC) is a key financing mechanism for organizations to realize the benefits of energy conservation measures while minimizing the cost burden. ESPCs are a great model for state and local governments because they: Provide upfront financing for energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 30, 2018
The Top 10 Solutions from March are here, featuring our 10 most-viewed solutions from this past month. We kick off April with some impressive Implementation Models, useful toolkits, and a brand-new Showcase Project! Covering sectors ranging from industrial plants to apparel companies to colleges,...
by Cindy Zhu, DOE Fellow on Mar 27, 2018
In February, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) hosted an invite-only roundtable with a diverse representation of commercial building operators working to support smart building technology implementation. Attendees represented the commercial real estate, education, retail, grocery,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 20, 2018
Join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Program for a 5-part series exploring the tools and resources of the Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Accelerator. Learn innovative best practices developed in collaboration with 25 state and local organizations to overcome common...
by Blakely Jarrett, ICF on Mar 19, 2018
There are plenty of energy and water efficiency resources available to multifamily property owners, but locating the right one can be a challenge. The BBC Multifamily team has responded by creating a new Multifamily Energy and Water Efficiency Resources page on the HUD Exchange. The resources are...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 12, 2018
Better Buildings took it on the road to participate in the Energy Innovators Forum in Chicago in late February. Local energy efficiency practitioners gathered at the DIRTT Green Learning Center in downtown Chicago for some serious idea exchange on hot energy topics. The night kicked off with...
by Monica Kanojia, DOE on Mar 07, 2018
This blog originally appeared February 15, 2018, on the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website. The Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) is accepting applications for its 2018 recognition cycle, which covers projects completed between January 2013 and April 2018. Commercial...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 28, 2018
When’s the last time you checked up on your neighbors at the Better Buildings Residential Network? There’s a lot happening in the residential space, and the BBRN team is committed to keeping the conversation going with regularly-scheduled forums about topics and trends in residential energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 27, 2018
The Top 10 Solutions for February are here, featuring our 10 most viewed solutions from this past month. We kick off March by introducing some solutions new to the Top 10, including projects for a variety of buildings! Covering sectors ranging from industrial plants to hotels to colleges, the Top...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 31, 2018
The first Top 10 Solutions for 2018 are here, featuring our 10 most viewed solutions from January. We kick off the year with a few fresh projects for a variety of buildings! With solutions from sectors ranging from data centers to hotels to commercial buildings – the Top 10 Solutions from January...
by John Jameson, ICF on Jan 31, 2018
Building on its earlier lead-by-example actions to power municipal facilities with renewable energy, the City of San Diego, CA is now adding 19 solar PV arrays across the City. The locations for the arrays include City libraries, police stations, community centers, and maintenance facilities,...
by Bruce Lung, Better Plants Program on Jan 25, 2018
Prevost, a subsidiary of Volvo Group that is the leading North American manufacturer of premium passenger buses, conducted its first ever energy treasure hunt at their South Plainfield, NJ, facility on January 14-15, 2018. Staff from Prevost were motivated after having participated in a Better...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 22, 2018
The Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy (AEDG) (www.ashrae.org/freeaedg) was recently released to support elementary, middle, and high schools in their pursuit of zero energy performance goals for deep retrofits and new construction projects. The Guide was...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 12, 2018
The Top 10 Solutions from 2017 feature our most-viewed solutions for the year, including a wide range of efficiency practices to help your buildings. If lighting retrofits, building management software, submetering regulations, and creating high-performance buildings are your organization’s New...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 11, 2018
The focus of the Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign since its inception in 2013 has been encouraging high-efficiency RTU improvements in commercial buildings across the country through the replacement of old RTUs with high efficiency units, and the retrofit of existing RTUs with advanced...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Jan 10, 2018
In December, two Better Buildings Challenge Partners – Chicago and the District of Columbia– received recognition for their leadership in energy and sustainability. The City of Chicago earned the Cities4Energy award, one of the 2017 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards, lauding excellence in...
by David Ruggiero, ICF on Jan 02, 2018
The Boston area is home to an impressive and active number of Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Partners. Hailing from the public, affordable, and market-rate housing domains, these partners have combined assets of more than 61 million square feet of developed space and approximately 80,000...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 19, 2017
On December 12, 2017, representatives from the Department of Energy traveled to Shari’s Café & Pies in Lynnwood, Washington and to King County International Airport to recognize Shari’s and King County for their energy efficiency leadership. Shari’s Café & Pies is the first full-service...
by Joan Glickman, DOE on Dec 19, 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s)  Home Energy Score program (the Score) is celebrating a milestone this month: Since the program launch in 2012, over 500 individuals are qualified to offer the Score, a miles-per-gallon energy rating system for homes. These individuals – known as Home Energy...
by Monica Kanojia on Dec 07, 2017
The education sector, particularly K-12 schools, has seen a rapid rise in the uptake of zero energy design with many school districts committing to zero energy performance goals for deep retrofits and future new construction projects. Zero energy schools are extremely energy efficient buildings...
by Blakely Jarrett, ICF on Dec 05, 2017
Better Buildings Challenge partners have always been market-drivers in energy efficiency, and our Multifamily partners are no exception. Three partners – all Public Housing Authorities – joined the SEED initiative to open up opportunities for sustainability and energy efficiency in their...
by Leslie Zarker, ICF on Dec 05, 2017
This Fall, the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA) launched the nation’s first housing authority-developed, owned, and operated 100% Low Income Community Solar Garden. The 2-megawatt, $3.8 million project will power affordable housing units in Denver and help low-income...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Dec 05, 2017
On October 26, DOE held a webinar to explore the issue of transportation fleet conversion for K-12 school districts. K-12 school sustainability conversations are growing beyond energy-efficient buildings to include fuel-efficient school transit systems. School bus fleet conversions have been...

Pages