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Top-10 Solutions in March

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 31, 2016

Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out March's Top-10 solutions below. 

1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit

The  Better Buildings Energy Data 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 EDA, 18 utilities serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers nationwide will provide whole-building energy data access to building owners by 2017. This historic expansion of data accessibility will increase building energy benchmarking, the first step many building owners take to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. The resulting toolkit describes the best practices that enabled cities, utilities, and other stakeholders to overcome whole-building data access barriers. Read more.

2. Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool 

Municipalities, states, and other public and federal agencies are continuously looking for new opportunities to decrease spending on utility bills, improve safety and services, and protect the environment. High–performance outdoor lighting technologies are proving to be a cost–effective energy savings measure, often offering 50 percent or more savings relative to previously installed systems while lasting longer and offering tremendous maintenance and operational benefits. The cost of these technologies can be further reduced for deployment in local communities through collaboration, including volume or bulk purchasing, and customized utility incentives and tariffs. Read more.

3. Valuing Energy Efficiency: Considering Energy Preformance in Real Estate Appraisals and Valuation

Do you ever wonder how energy efficiency and sustainability efforts are impacting the value of your properties? This webinar focused on energy efficiency and sustainability in the appraisal and valuation industries. Colliers International explained how they have adapted their processes to ensure that they realize the full value of energy efficiency and sustainability upgrades. Inspyrod discussed various techniques and data challenges that might be encountered during the valuation process. Sustainable Values provided an introduction and overview to the recently launched Energy Matters! training course that teaches appraisers how to incorporate energy and sustainability metrics into their property valuation. Watch the webinar.

4. Douglas County School District, NV: A Lesson Plan in Financing K-12 Energy Efficiency

Nevada’s Douglas County School District (DCSD), the sixth largest in the state with 6,000 students, faced a limited budget, declining revenues, and rising utility costs.  With limited access to taxpayer funds, DCSD decided to implement a multi-pronged funding approach over several years to address its failing and inefficient maintenance of aging buildings. These funding measures included an ESPC, grants, and bonds. This model focuses on an ESPC implemented by the district in 2008 to target facility upgrades and infrastructure repairs. Read more.

Tower Companies: Leveraging Green Leases to Reduce Energy and Water Use building5. Tower Companies: Leveraging Green Leases to Reduce Energy and Water Use

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. Read more.

6. City of Milwaukee: 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. Read more.

7. King County, WA Implementation Model: Fund to Reduce Energy Use (FRED)

Energy and water efficiency projects often compete with other priorities for limited available financing in local governments.  King County, however, is determined to provide access to funding to help meet its energy reduction goals without having such projects compete with or delay other critical county work. Read more.

8. J.R. Simplot Showcase Project: New Potato Processing Plant

J.R. Simplot’s showcase project is a new, 420,000 square foot, state-of-the-art potato processing plant that will integrate innovative energy-efficient technologies to achieve dramatic energy efficiency improvements of up to 25% while producing hundreds of millions of pounds of frozen potato products per year. Once built, the plant is expected to save the company millions of dollars and contribute to its goal of reducing energy intensity by 25% over 10 years. Read more

9. IHG Implementation Model: Green Engage

InterContinental Hotels Group created the IHG Green Engage system, a comprehensive online sustainability platform that allows hotels to track, measure and report on their carbon footprint and utility consumption, and offers more than 200 ‘Green Solutions’ with detailed technical guidance that hotels can implement on property to deliver greater sustainability.Read more

10. Business Case: Proactive Rooftop Unit Replacement

Rooftop air conditioning systems or rooftop units (RTUs) are common, cooling nearly 60% of the U.S. commercial building floor area and consuming 4.3 Quads of energy annually. RTUs that are more than 15 years old can waste substantial amounts of energy and money; however, facility managers often wait until an RTU no longer provides adequate space conditioning, requires frequent maintenance, or fails completely before replacing it. This resource introduces the key elements to consider in making the business case for a proactive highefficiency RTU replacement strategy for facility maintenance staff and building engineers who are responsible for energy management of commercial buildings. Read more.