Top 10 Solutions from 2017

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 12, 2018

The Top 10 Solutions from 2017 feature our most-viewed solutions for the year, including a wide range of efficiency practices to help your buildings. If lighting retrofits, building management software, submetering regulations, and creating high-performance buildings are your organization’s New Year’s resolutions, the Top 10 for 2017 has some tips and tricks you’ll need for carrying energy and water efficiency forward into 2018!

1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action

The Better Buildings Energy Data Access Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy efficiency by making energy data more accessible to building owners. As a result of best practices developed by the Energy Defense Council (EDC), 18 utilities serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers nationwide will provide whole-building energy data access to building owners by 2017. The resulting toolkit describes the best practices that enabled cities, utilities, and other stakeholders to overcome whole-building data access barriers. Read more.

2. Implement Energy Management Information Systems in Your Building Portfolio

Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) are a relatively new technology based on the old adage "you can't manage what you don’t measure." EMIS gives property owners and managers the ability to see their energy use and take action to reduce waste. This toolkit outlines a starting point. Read more.

3. Outdoor Lighting Accelerator Toolkit

Our Outdoor Lighting Accelerator works to help state and local governments move closer toward a clean-energy economy using high-performance technologies that reduce the cost of an essential public service – street lighting. Learn how LED lighting upgrades to outdoor lighting infrastructure can have a big impact on your local economy. Read more.

4. Comprehensive Occupant Engagement Program

Northwestern University developed and launched a communication and engagement program, sustainNU, aimed at encouraging more sustainable behavior among the occupants of the University’s more than 200 buildings. This initiative leverages certification programs, social media, outreach events, and friendly competition to foster a community-wide culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship, removing barriers that discourage sustainable practices. Read more.

5. Tying Energy Costs to Building Occupants

UC Berkeley benefits from a mild, year-round climate that requires minimal heating or cooling, which is generally provided by steam. Campus energy consumption is instead dominated by electrical demand for mechanical systems, research equipment, electronics, air circulation, and lighting. Explore UC Berkeley’s Energy Management Initiative, and how it targets building occupants through building surveys and energy dashboards while allocating energy cost responsibility to individual campus operating units. Read more.

6. The Business Case for High-Performance Buildings

This video explains how once-niche green concepts are evolving into high-performance standards across office, retail, and industrial buildings. See how leading Commercial Real Estate property owners incorporate energy efficiency and broader sustainability elements into their operational and investment decisions. Read more.

7. Submetering Laws and Regulations

This interactive map, developed and maintained by Aquicore, provides commercial and residential building owners with information on the legal and data requirements to implement a successful submetering program. The map breaks down the state laws for submetered billing of electric, gas, and water. The shade of blue in each state denotes the number of utility resources for which there is a law, and grey states have no state-level law regarding submetering. Read more.

8. Green Arrow Building Certification: Measuring Total Building Performance

Welltower is responsible for the management of 260 medical office buildings covering over 17.2 million square feet nationwide. Welltower believes there is a critical interdependence between our health and the health of the planet. As a result, they are committed to incorporating environmentally-friendly technologies and approaches in their real estate portfolio. Welltower’s commitment to the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Alliance is just another example of their efforts to lead in sustainability. Read more.

9. Interior Lighting Campaign Participants Get Exemplary Results from Troffer Retrofits

Lighting system upgrades, like more efficient troffer lighting, often represent some of the easiest, most cost-effective energy-saving opportunities available. Participants in the Interior Lighting Campaign are sharing their results and best practices after upgrading their lighting systems and achieving impressive results. These troffer retrofit case studies provide cross-sector solutions for retail, food service, commercial real estate, healthcare, higher education, and more. Read more.

10. Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

Loews Hotels & Co. initially flagged the Vanderbilt Hotel for energy projects due to its significant savings potential and outdated facility equipment, including chillers, condenser pumps, roofing, and lighting. Loews undertook a study on chiller re-sizing with their mechanical, electrical, and plumbing consultant to determine cost and expected return on investment. Loews also researched available utility incentive programs, and successfully worked with the local utility to receive $125,000 in funding assistance. Read more.