Top 10 Solutions for July 2017

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 02, 2017

The Top 10 Solutions for July provides a refreshing taste of new solutions to cool off from the dog days of summer. If you were excited to see eight solutions new to the Top 10 in June, the month of July does not disappoint -  eight additional projects have climbed the ranks over the past 31 days. This month’s Top 10 includes an Implementation Model outlining a successful occupant engagement program from Northwestern University among others. Take a look!

1. Showcase Project: Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel is located in downtown Nashville, across from Vanderbilt University. The 420,000-square-foot, 11-story hotel has 351 guestrooms, 24,000 square feet of meeting space, a four-story garage, a 24-hour fitness center and business center, and an onsite restaurant and bar. 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.

2. Implementation Model: Comprehensive Occupant Engagement Program

Northwestern University developed and launched a communication and engagement program, sustainNU, which commits to creating a culture that is ecologically sound, socially just, and economically sustainable. The program engages Northwestern’s entrepreneurial students, industry-leading researchers, world-class faculty, dedicated staff, and supporting communities to integrate sustainability into all endeavors. sustainNU will be an example for environmental accountability to generations that follow. Read more.

3. Showcase Project: Four Seasons Produce – 50001 Ready Facility

Since it moved into its 266,000-square-foot fruit and vegetable refrigerated warehouse facility in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, Four Seasons Produce has been vigorously engaged in sustainability efforts to reduce energy costs and consumption. In 2009, the company was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program for being the first refrigerated warehouse to achieve their label. In 2012, Four Seasons Produce participated in a Continuous Energy Improvement (CEI) program with PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, which set the foundation for a culture of energy management by establishing an energy policy, energy team, and energy reporting model. Read more.

4. Implementation Model: Accessing Tenant Utility Data in Triple-Net Leased Buildings

For Prologis, an owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate, benchmarking is a challenge because the majority of its portfolio consists of triple-net leased warehouses and distribution centers. Under a triple-net lease, customers are responsible for paying their own utility bills, which leaves Prologis with little or no insight into whole building energy consumption. Prologis has added utility data access language to leases, provided authorization forms during the move-in process, and worked directly with utilities in an effort to gain access to this data. Read more.

5. Implementation Model: “A No Brainer” – Energy Performance Contracting and Quality-of-Life Improvements for a Smaller PHA

The Palatka Housing Authority is a small- to medium-sized public housing authority (PHA) that owns and manages 420 units across seven properties in north-central Florida. Similar to the experience of many smaller public housing authorities, Palatka Housing Authority lacks not only significant capital and operating funds, but also the ability to access traditional bank loans for making improvements to its properties. Despite their barriers, the Housing Authority saw a need to make quality-of-life improvements for residents while also ensuring they remained financially self-sustaining. Leaders at Palatka Housing Authority decided to employ the Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) option available to PHAs. Read more.

6. Solution at a Glance: Submetering Laws and Regulations – Aquicore’s Interactive Map Guides Commercial and Real Estate Professionals to the Latest Information in Every State

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 laws for submetered billing of electric, gas, and water for commercial and residential properties by state. 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.

7. Showcase Project: Cedar Redevelopment - Cedar Apartments

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) owns and manages property, and also administers rent subsidy programs to provide safe, and affordable housing to eligible low-income persons. Through the Cedar Redevelopment Plan in Cleveland, Ohio, CMHA will be replacing obsolete, dilapidated housing that was originally constructed in the Central neighborhood in the 1950s. The new mixed-income multifamily development is part of CMHA's larger multifaceted, catalytic Central Choice Transformation Plan that incorporates energy efficiency measures through design into housing. Read more.

8. Toolkit: K-12 Solutions for Building Energy Excellence

Better Buildings Challenge K-12 Partners are using innovative approaches to make energy efficiency an operations and maintenance priority. Energy efficiency offers the potential to redirect significant savings back to educating students while establishing a safe, healthy, and productive environment for learning. K-12 partners have shared the following practices, programs, and policies that help advance clean energy goals and build energy literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula. Read more.

9. Implementation Model: Citi Riverdale Data Center Energy Services Agreement (ESA)

Citi wanted to implement a pilot project to deliver efficient electricity and cooling in one of their UK data centers. A Combined Chilling/Heating and Power (CHP) system will be installed together with energy efficient cooling units and efficiency improvements to the building’s air conditioning system. Read more.

10. Implementation Model: Creating a Pipeline of Green Jobs in a PHA: Connecting Residents to Energy Efficiency

CMHA is currently applying for grant funding to better train its after-school staff on the fundamentals of energy efficiency, which will enhance their STEM modules. CMHA has noticed anecdotally that its children have a strong influence on their parents on the subject of energy efficiency, so the agency has worked to strengthen its after-school curriculum. In the future, CMHA hopes to leverage more private resources to further expand its STEM education and training efforts Read more.