October Top 10 Solutions

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 02, 2019

The 10 most-viewed resources from the past month include Showcase Projects from Mayo Clinic and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), as well as toolkits on financing, lighting, and more. Check them out below!

1. East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation's Casa Arabella

Oakland-based East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) designed Casa Arabella, a 94-unit apartment community for low-income residents, as a high-performance property that combines energy efficiency and renewable energy. Features include LED lighting, ENERGY STAR® appliances, solar PV-ready infrastructure, and a solar thermal heating system. It is designed to exceed ASHRAE’s national energy standard by 20% and California’s energy code by 13%. By 2020, the property is expected to achieve $13,000 in annual cost savings. Read more.

2. 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.

3. K-12 Lighting Toolkit

For K-12 schools in the U.S., energy bills represent the second-highest operating expense behind salaries. By optimizing their lighting equipment and operations, K-12 schools can save up to 50% on energy use. This resource covers a wide range of K-12-specific technical implementation details, case studies, specifications, and other best practices for how to implement energy-efficient lighting in schools. Read more.

4. 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.

5. 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 for building owners, operators, and occupants who may want to take advantage of EaaS for energy and water projects. Read more.

6. Commercial PACE Financing for Resiliency Toolkit

Commercial property assessed clean energy (CPACE) financing can be used to fund resiliency improvements that make buildings more resistant to natural disasters and other threats. CPACE policies and programs are becoming more widespread, making it easier for more customers to access CPACE financing. This toolkit provides the necessary information for building owners, operators, and occupants that may want to take advantage of CPACE financing to improve resiliency in their facilities. Read more.

7. High-Efficiency RTU Replacement Toolkit

This toolkit helps HVAC contractors and service companies work with their customers through a step-by-step process of evaluating and managing their inventory of rooftop units (RTUs) and how to evaluate the business case for high-efficiency replacements. From an incentives database to a comparison calculator, the toolkit provides everything needed to make an informed decision regarding RTU replacements. Read more.

8. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action

A product of the Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator, this toolkit is a collection of resources to help building owners and communities overcome a lack of access to energy data for benchmarking. Resources highlight examples of effective partnerships between utilities, communities, and building owners that have helped improve access to whole-building energy data. Read more.

9. Mayo Clinic's Rochester, Minnesota Campus - NEW

Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus achieved its 20% energy reduction goal ahead of schedule by integrating energy efficiency into new construction designs, renovating existing facilities, and upgrading equipment. The 14 million-square-foot medical center has achieved $4 million in annual cost savings as a result, and Mayo Clinic has set a new goal of 10% additional energy reduction at the campus by 2025. Read more.

10. Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool

This decision tree provides an interactive and visual representation of scenarios and questions typically encountered in upgrading/replacing a public outdoor lighting system. The tool features successful cases and models used by cities and states to help find solutions to common barriers. Read more.