June Top 10 Solutions

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 Center, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and New York City Housing Authority. Check them out!

1. New York City Housing Authority 

To address energy challenges faced at its 344 East 28th Street multifamily apartment complex, Better Buildings 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. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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. 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.

8. UMMC Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program

To address the demand for skilled-trades workers familiar with modern energy-efficient technologies, Better Buildings partner University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) developed the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program. The state-accredited program provides a path for individuals to develop the knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience to qualify for work in key building trades at the full performance level. UMMC was able to support the training of three skilled trade positions within three years: Building Automation Technician, HVAC technician, and Plumber. Read more.

9. Lendlease Uses Portfolio Approach to See Savings at Scale in Military Housing – NEW!

To improve energy efficiency across its portfolio of 40,000 military housing units in 12 states, Better Buildings partner Lendlease used data-driven methodology, on-site team engagement, sustainable design practices, and other strategies to drive efficiency while working to meet the unique needs of each of its communities. As a result, site teams were better equipped to optimize savings, finding over $10 million in operating expense savings. Read more.

10. Ford Motor Company: Dearborn Campus Uses a Digital Twin Tool for Energy Plant Management

A digital twin is the virtual representation of an object or system across its life cycle that helps operators quickly identify problems. Better Plants partner Ford Motor Company is using a digital twin of the new energy central energy plant (CEP) at its Dearborn Research and Engineering Campus. The new CEP is projected to achieve a 50% reduction in campus energy and water use; the digital twin enables tracking the plant’s performance towards that target. The model helps the Ford team manage energy and operational risks by monitoring operations across the CEP and providing real-time data for increased visibility and more efficient operations and design. Read more.