Highlights from the 2020 Better Buildings Summit – Part 2

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 18, 2020

For part 1 of the highlights from the 2020 Better Buildings Summit, click here.

Wednesday, June 10

Day 3 of the Better Buildings Summit kicked off with five concurrent morning workshops and presentations on solar energy, financing for energy efficiency projects, the formal launches of DOE’s Integrated Lighting Campaign and Building Envelope Campaign, and the 2020 Better Project and Practice awardees.

“The Next Frontier in Lighting: Getting Connected with the Integrated Lighting Campaign” session examined the flexibility and energy performance benefits of connected lighting systems, which allow for greater control of building systems plus improved energy savings. “Unsealed: The Building Envelope Campaign” covered energy efficiency strategies for success based on four major building envelope contributors: walls, windows, roofs, and airtightness.

In the Multifamily Financing Roundtable, attendees participated in breakout session discussions on the current opportunities and challenges around financing energy and water efficiency upgrades in affordable multifamily housing.

Participants in the “Solar Project Development Process” workshop learned best practices from Better Buildings partners and DOE experts on the solar project development process and how to identify resources for their next project.

Better Buildings, Better Plants partners were recognized in the “Best of the Betters: 2020 Better Project and Better Practice Presentations” session for their outstanding accomplishments in implementing and promoting industrial energy efficiency projects and programs.


Later in the day, Summit attendees reconvened for afternoon sessions. “Maximizing Performance in Affordable Housing New Construction” spotlighted different pathways for optimizing energy performance in new construction, while the “Packaged CHP eCatalog and Accelerator Program” session focused on how packaged combined heat and power (CHP) can provide efficiency, economic, and resilience benefits to growing non-traditional CHP markets, and how DOE’s Packaged CHP eCatalog reduces project risks for both CHP users and CHP suppliers.

The third day of Summit concluded with an open forum in “Stump the Chumps: How to Optimize Critical Facilities.” Better Buildings, Better Plants partners and top experts from DOE’s National Labs and other critical facilities like data centers, laboratories, hospitals, and wastewater treatment plants provided an overview of their fields and shared helpful ways for attendees to optimize energy usage in their own facilities.

Thursday, June 11

The final day of the Better Buildings Summit began with the “Approaches for Achieving Zero Energy Ready: Maximizing Efficiency and Controlling Costs” session, which highlighted technical, financial, and programmatic strategies for pursuing zero energy in schools and the multifamily sector. Morning attendees also had the option to join the “Early Best Practices from the Waste Reduction Pilot” panel, where speakers from the industrial and commercial sectors shared best practices for waste management, early results from the Waste Reduction Pilot, and other relevant resources from DOE.

In the afternoon, past Better Buildings goal achievers from the public and private sectors shared their experiences and insights into the tools and strategies that led to their energy efficiency success. Participants learned ways to apply similar strategies in their portfolios to help reach their own energy savings goals. In the overlapping “Measuring Up to the Equity Challenge: Energy Affordability and Equity Planning” session, participants of DOE’s now-completed Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator discussed the benefits of the accelerator, and how equity plays an important role when developing and implementing programs to address energy affordability.

The Virtual Leadership Symposium concluded with the Closing Plenary, “The Path Forward: Perspectives on Prioritizing Energy Efficiency.” Leaders representing multiple sectors shared how they’re working across building portfolios to advance energy efficiency while supporting building occupants' health, comfort, and productivity. Topics covered included the health and energy nexus, demonstrated cost savings through efficiency, and the importance of removing silos in building greater efficiency.


Thank you to all partners, speakers, and attendees for a successful first-ever Virtual Leadership Symposium! We look forward to seeing you at the 2021 Better Buildings Summit for continued discussion on the leading-edge of energy, water, and waste efficiency.