Top-10 Solutions in August

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 01, 2015

Cummins: Jamestown Engine Plant

1. Cummins: Jamestown Engine Plant

Cummins acquired Jamestown Engine Plant in 1974, though the facility dates back to 1968 and much of the original base infrastructure within the building remains. In 2014, the plant installed a new, 2 megawatt solar installation, capable of generating about a third of the plant's power on the sunniest days. The plant has also installed three regenerative dynamometers that recover energy from engine testing and provide power to the facility. The energy efficiency components of the project include heating and cooling upgrades, compressed air optimization and controls upgrades. The two major energy impacts of the plant–wide improvements are natural gas and electricity, with approximate savings of 41% and 23% from current usages, respectively.

Learn more here.



2. Tower Companies: Leveraging Green Leases to Reduce Energy and Water Use

Tower Companies: Leveraging Green Leases to Reduce Energy and Water Use building

Like most landlords, Tower does not have control over energy and water usage in tenant office spaces. However, Tower can influence usage through requirements on the design of tenant space. Tower raises the bar on lighting and water efficiency through lease language, requiring a 16% improvement over the local lighting codes and a 30% improvement in plumbing fixture efficiency over current building performance.

Learn more here.



3. MGM: Efficiency Education AppMGM: Efficiency Education App

MGM Resort International recognized the opportunity to drive sustainable behavioral change throughout their employee base so they developed an app called MY Green Advantage that employees can access on their smartphones to track energy saving actions. MGM surpassed its goal for staff to complete 250,000 energy actions reaching over 700,000 actions in less than a year. MGM properties exceeded the 15% participation goal and 20% of employees across the company (over 12,000 workers) have used the MY Green Advantage.

Learn more here.



4. USAA Building Upgrade CalculatorUSAA Building Upgrade Calculator

The USAA Real Estate Company team believed they could better justify and support investments in efficiency projects if they could convert the expected results of the improvements and retrofits into meaningful metrics for financial decision makers. For this reason, USAA Real Estate Company created an Excel–based analysis tool to help their property managers evaluate the financial returns of energy performance projects in investor–owned real estate.

Learn more here.



5. Kohl's: Energy Finance Strategy

Kohl's Energy team wanted to implement energy efficiency measures with targeted, predefined payback periods across the chain. Over two years, the Energy team executed several “low–hanging fruit” energy efficiency projects that resulted in monetary savings for the organization, and attracted the interests of Kohl's Finance Department. The team implemented an Energy Finance Strategy to overcome these hurdles and successfully achieve its goal, and has been able to demonstrate the strong links between energy efficiency, corporate responsibility and cost savings.

Learn more here.



6. Dysart Unified School District: Kingswood Elementary SchoolDysart Unified School District: Kingswood Elementary School

Dysart Unified School District has implemented an Energy Service Performance Contract at Kingswood Elementary to maximize opportunities for high efficiency technology upgrades and energy cost saving strategies. Kingswood Elementary is one of 20 primary schools in the District with a student population of 738. Efficiency goals include the optimization of the school's central plant which accounts for 100% of the energy use used to cool the campus. The project achieved an annual energy savings of 16% and a cost savings of $44,000.

Learn more here.



7. Walgreens: Net Zero Energy Retail StoreNorth Lincoln Homes in Denver, Colorado

As part of Walgreens' robust energy efficiency program for existing buildings LED lighting, HVAC retrofits, cooler door retrofits, and energy management systems are often installed or upgraded. At the Evanston store, Walgreens has incorporated the best practices from all of these efforts in its first net zero energy retail store. The store produces energy equal to or greater than it consumes by implementing energy–efficient and renewable energy technologies including: energy–efficient building materials, LED lighting, ultra–high–efficiency refrigeration, solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal technology.

Learn more here.



8. City of Milwaukee, WI: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) ProgramCity of Milwaukee, WI: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program

In order to facilitate energy efficiency improvements of commercial and industrial buildings in its jurisdiction, the City of Milwaukee implemented a property assessed clean energy (PACE) program which allows building owners to repay loans for clean energy improvements over time through a special assessment on their property tax bill attached to the property, not the owner. If the owner sells the property before the end of the loan term, the new owner inherits the loan along with the energy improvements, which reduces the risk of financing to building owners. This financing option removes barriers of access to capital and split incentives when property ownership term is shorter than project payback by availing additional financing options to building owners.

Learn more here.



9. Spokane County, WA: Community Services BuildingSpokane County, WA: Community Services Building

Spokane County, WA in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Energy Program, selected an Energy Saving Performance Contract (ESPC) approach in August 2013. Spokane County conducted an energy audit of the Community Services Building, a unique multiuse facility of administrative offices and meeting rooms, with inpatient residential and outpatient treatment programs for substance abuse prevention and treatment. Results showed that the heating and cooling controls severely challenged the system during extreme conditions, which caused heating and cooling to be conducted simultaneously. Heating and cooling was a priority for the energy improvements made to the building and an opportunity to increase staff, patient and resident comfort.

Learn more here.



10. Alcoa: Aluminum Recycling Facility

Alcoa: Aluminum Recycling Facility

As a result of this project, Alcoa will use about half as much energy to produce and distribute recycled aluminum as it did before the plant was built. Alcoa's Barberton, OH facility produces finished truck and auto wheels that are forged at the company's Cleveland, OH plant. The new recycling facility takes chips and solids from the forging and machining operations of both the Cleveland and Barberton plants and converts them back into aluminum billets–large cylinders of aluminum, which are subsequently processed into intermediate or final products. The newly cast billet is shipped to Alcoa wheel processing facilities for forging into wheels.

Learn more here.