By Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 05, 2022

The top 10 solutions on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month include strategies for low carbon technologies, energy project financing, and more. This month’s roundup also includes two new solutions, featuring partner Life Time, Inc. and a webinar about community resilience. Check them out!

1. Showcase Project: Celanese Improves Plant Energy Performance with Boiler Upgrade

Better Plants Challenge partner Celanese reduced annual energy costs by nearly 20% after completing a $160 million boiler replacement project at its plant in Narrows, Virginia. The project replaced coal-fired boilers with natural gas-fired boilers, substantially improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste. Read more.

2. Low Carbon Technology Strategies Toolkit

To help building owners and operators reduce carbon emissions, this toolkit offers guidance on how to achieve deep carbon reductions in existing buildings with a primary focus on retrofits and operational strategies. Low carbon technology strategies are  currently available for 10 building types, with a supplement for commercial kitchen equipment. Recommendations are grouped by technology, with actions categorized as either simple, intermediate, or advanced. Read more.

3. Shelter from the Storm: Powering Community Resilience Hubs Webinar– new!

Community resilience hubs are locally identified and community-serving facilities that provide residents year-round access to support resources. By supplying power before, during, and after grid outages, they can help alleviate the burden on emergency response teams during extreme weather events to ensure critical community facilities are online when they are needed most. Watch the webinar.

4. Showcase Project: Life Time’s Chanhassen, MN Athletic Club Efficiency Improvements – new!

To reduce energy and water use intensity at its athletic club in Chanhassen, MN, Better Buildings Challenge partner Life Time, Inc. took a multi-faceted approach focusing on sustainability while also prioritizing user experience. By implementing a range of electric, natural gas, and water efficiency improvements throughout the 110,000-square foot property, they were able to reduce energy use intensity by 35% and water use intensity by nearly 60%. Read more.

5. Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit

This collection of resources enables state and local communities to benefit from the experience of partners who have successfully established and implemented performance contracting. It includes best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used. Users can easily find the information they need at each stage of their ESPC decision-making process. Read more.

6. Showcase Project: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s John Ferraro Building

Built in 1965, the John Ferraro Building (JFB) is an iconic office building that houses Better Plants partner, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The LADWP implemented several energy and water efficiency upgrades to the building’s lighting, plumbing, fan, and chiller systems. The upgrades resulted in 37% energy savings and over $1.7 million in cost savings; the building also achieved LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance. Read more.

7. Green Revolving Funds Toolkit

This collection of solutions provides guidance on establishing a green revolving fund to overcome a lack of dedicated capital. A green revolving fund is an internal capital pool dedicated to funding energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects that generate cost savings. A portion of those savings is then used to replenish the fund, establishing an ongoing funding vehicle to help drive energy efficiency and sustainability investment over time. Read more.

8. Showcase Project: New York City Housing Authority's 344 East 28th Street

To address energy challenges faced at its 344 East 28th Street multifamily apartment complex, Better Buildings Challenge partner New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) conducted an extensive lighting, heating, and hot-water modernization project. Energy-efficient upgrades made to these building systems, as well as NYCHA’s first-ever deployment of renewable technologies, resulted in nearly 40% annual energy savings and nearly $114,000 in cost savings. Read more.

9. Efficiency-as-a-Service Toolkit

Efficiency-as-a-service (EaaS) is a pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solution that allows customers to implement energy and water efficiency projects with no upfront capital expenditure. It is a relatively new financing mechanism, in which customers pay a provider for the service of energy savings. This toolkit provides resources and case studies from Better Buildings partners Iron Mountain, AT&T, and others to help building owners, operators, and occupants who may want to take advantage of EaaS for energy and water projects. Read more.

10. IHG Green EngageTM Program

IHG Hotels and Resorts, a Better Buildings Alliance partner, created the IHG Green Engage™ system as a comprehensive online sustainability platform. It allows hotels to track, measure, and report on their carbon footprint and utility consumption. With over 200 Green Solutions, including detailed action plans, guidance, and case studies, Green Engage can help hotels avoid up to $67 million in utility costs while significantly reducing their carbon footprint. Read more.