Top 10 Solutions for June 2017

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 07, 2017

The Top 10 Solutions for June has a new summer look – this season several new partner projects and solutions have made it to the top that we are excited to share with you. If you thought May’s Top 10 was jam-packed with energy savings, June’s will take it a step further. This Top 10 includes a Loews Hotels showcase project, a study outlining high performance building partnerships, a comprehensive occupancy engagement study and an overview of cost savings through advanced air barrier systems. Let’s dive in!

1. Toolkit: Outdoor Lighting Accelerator

We often talk about lighting upgrades as low-hanging fruit, but Better Buildings recently used the Outdoor Lighting Accelerator to address something that literally hangs a bit higher off the ground – street lighting. The toolkit helps state and local governments move toward a clean energy economy using high-performance technologies that reduce the cost of a essential public services. While LED street lighting technology is gaining greater acceptance in some regions across the country, market perceptions and barriers still prevent municipalities from taking full advantage of the energy savings and cost benefits of high-performance lighting, especially LED upgrades. Read more.

2. Showcase Project: 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Hotels & Co. initially flagged the Vanderbilt Hotel for energy projects due to its significant savings potential and outdated facility equipment, including chillers, condenser pumps, roofing, and lighting.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.

3. Implementation Model: High-Performance Building Partnership for New Development

The population of Hillsboro, Oregon, and its surrounding cities is growing and home prices are rising. Due to limited housing supply, some commuters are travelling longer distances, consequently increasing energy use and stress on the local transportation system. To support continued job growth, accommodate a growing population, and advance ambitious sustainability goals, the City of Hillsboro formed the South Hillsboro High-Performance Building Partnership—a public-private partnership—in 2015. The Partnership is meant to spur above-code development in the South Hillsboro area by packaging existing and new incentives and support services for developers and builders. Read more.

4. Implementation Model: 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. Implementation Model: Green Arrow Building Certification: Measuring Total Building Performance

Welltower™, a real estate investment trust (REIT), owns interests in approximately 1,400 properties in major high-growth markets in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. These consist of senior housing, post-acute communities, and outpatient medical properties. As of March 2017, 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.

6. Showcase Project: Greenvale Place

By participating in their utility’s Multi-Family Energy Efficiency Program, Greenvale Place received a full energy audit that identified a variety of projects and property management suggestions to reduce utility consumption. The audit report categorized the identified energy- and water-savings activities by total project cost and their direct impact/reduction on consumption. Read more.

7. Implementation Model: Efficiency Services Agreement (ESA) In BAE Facilities Nationwide

BAE Systems recognized that in order to roll out a comprehensive energy efficiency program, it required a scalable third-party financing solution to fund a diverse mix of energy efficiency measures and technologies. The Metrus ESA is a streamlined financing solution that allows BAE to customize each project with the diverse equipment needs of individual sites while simplifying a complex technical, legal, and financial process. Metrus works with BAE to match the best technologies with the best service provider, and integrates financing into the process by paying for all upfront costs. Read more.

8. Solution at a Glance: Achieving Energy and Cost Savings with Advanced Air Barrier System Technologies

Air leakage is responsible for 6 percent of the total energy used by commercial buildings in the U.S. Consequently, infiltration and exfiltration are among the largest envelope-related contributors to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning loads in these buildings. New air-sealing technologies aim to improve the performance of air barrier systems by simplifying the installation procedure. Read more.

9. Implementation Model: 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. Read more.

10. Implementation Model: 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, and campus energy consumption is instead dominated by electrical demand for mechanical systems, research equipment, electronics, air circulation, and lighting. In this implementation model, we 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.