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July Top 10 Solutions

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 02, 2021
Top 10

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 list also contains toolkits for expanding clean energy access in low-income communities, project financing, and more. Check them out!


1. New York City Housing Authority: 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 37% annual energy savings and nearly $114,000 in cost savings. Read more.

2. IHG Hotels & Resorts Green Engage™ 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.

3. Smart Energy Analytics Campaign Toolkit

With analytic software applied to everyday building operations, owners are using data to their advantage and realizing cost savings through improved energy management. This toolkit collects the best resources from DOE’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities and performance improvements from energy management information systems (EMIS) and ongoing monitoring practices. Read more.

4. Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities (CELICA) Toolkit

Low-income households spend about 8% of their income on energy costs, three times more than average. Better Buildings Accelerator partners committed $335 million to help 155,000 low-income households access energy efficiency and renewable energy benefits, collecting resources and lessons learned into the CELICA Toolkit. The toolkit includes a guide to program development and replicable program models for single-family and multifamily housing, as well as community solar. Read more.

5. 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.

6. Wastewater Energy Management Toolkit

Municipal wastewater treatment systems in the U.S. consume approximately 30 billion kWh annually, and their operations are typically the largest energy users in a community. This toolkit enables water resource recovery facilities to improve their energy efficiency, providing best practices and innovative approaches successfully used by wastewater facilities to establish and implement energy management plans. It is based on the work of DOE's Better Buildings Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Accelerator. Read more.

7. 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.

8. Efficiency-Resilience Nexus Resources

This easy-to-use resource navigator helps building operators, state and local officials, utilities, and other organizations take steps to build resilience and increase their ability to bounce back from natural disasters and other stressors. Resources include roadmaps for community-wide resilience planning, financing and design guidance for building owners and operators, and webinars featuring experts who have undertaken resilience improvements. Read more.

9. UMMC: Engaging Leadership with ASHE Energy Treasure Hunt

Better Buildings Challenge partner University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) worked with Better Buildings Affiliate the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) to host an “Energy to Care” treasure hunt to uncover low-cost energy savings opportunities – behavioral, operational, and maintenance – across its portfolio. Participants at one facility uncovered more than $2 million in potential energy cost savings, helping UMMC identify areas to improve while engaging with executive leadership to roll out capital expenditure energy efficiency projects. Read more.

10. UC Berkeley: Jacobs Hall

Jacobs Hall is home to Better Buildings Challenge partner UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. The building was designed to use 90% less energy than the national median for university buildings and is certified LEED Platinum. Jacobs Hall achieved annual energy savings of 39% through measures including: a 74 kW solar photovoltaic array, a high-performance building envelope, passive ventilation and daylighting, and efficient heating and cooling solutions, among others. Read more.