Top-10 Solutions in May

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 01, 2016

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

1. 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


2. Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator: 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. Emory University: Water Hub

Emory is seeking to comprehensively address local and global water challenges. The WaterHub project is an innovative, on-site solution designed to treat and reuse up to 400,000 gallons of water per day, and decrease potable water demand by over 1/3. In addition to its functional use as a water reclamation facility, WaterHub can be used as an immersion learning tool to enhance curriculum and advance research in a number of fields. The University believes this facility can help advance disciplines directly related to botany, microbiology, engineering, public policy and urban planning among others. Read more.

4. Better Plants White Paper: Developing a Corporate Water Management Strategy for Manufacturers

Better management of water resources is a growing interest for many manufacturers as they seek to cut costs, mitigate risks, and reduce their environmental impact. Over the last couple of years, through the Better Buildings Challenge, DOE has worked closely with a select group of manufacturers with well-developed water management programs to better understand key details of their successful water management efforts, including the motivating factors behind their strategies, metrics used to track progress, and specific projects and activities implemented to achieve water savings. By summarizing insights gained from working with these partners, this paper aims to serve as a resource to other manufacturers developing new, or seeking to improve existing, water management programs. Read more.

5. TIAA: 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue

Working with their sustainability consultant and property team, TIAA identified no-and low-cost measures, and those requiring capital, to enhance HVAC controls, improve building pressurization, and upgrade interior and exterior lighting. TIAA’s decision to further improve the energy performance of the property, an already high performing urban office building, reflects its ongoing effort to identify and implement energy efficiency opportunities across its real estate portfolio. When aggregated, the projects yielded an overall payback period of 3.5 years and an ROI of 29%. Read more.


6. City of Atlanta: Technology Square Research Building

After a building assessment conducted by the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge team identified energy and water efficiency solutions on top of the previously scheduled retrofits – the majority of which were operational, controls and sensor changes - the building team implemented a continuous commissioning program in June 2011, to maintain optimum performance of the HVAC system. This reduced  the Technology Square Research Building, which is occupied by Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and College of Computing annual energy cost by 23.5% and water costs by 8.5% compared to baseline years, saving more than $123,000. Read more.

7. Wendy's: Maxtown Road

Constructed in 1996, the major upgrade project completed at the 3,000 square foot restaurant, improved the 20 year-old property’s appearance while enhanced lighting systems, and resulted in more efficient food service equipment (40 percent energy and water savings). Wendy’s cross functional energy team identified and compared different energy upgrades, such as LED lighting and walk-in cooler and freezer motor upgrades. The remodeling project has helped Wendy’s achieve its energy savings goals and at the same time gives the restaurant a fresh and vibrant street presence. Read more.


8. Shari's Cafe and Pies: Shari's of Roseburg–A Smaller Slice of the Energy Pie 

Shari’s created a holistic sustainability program called SWEEP (Shari’s Water/Energy Efficiency Program) with the support of its Executive team and utility management company in order to identify projects geared towards energy efficiency. Each year during an internal Strategic Energy Management meeting, the team reviews the results of an annual restaurant-wide energy survey, discusses progress on energy goals, and proposes $100,000 in projects for SWEEP. The energy team identified the Roseburg, OR restaurant as one of the top energy users in in the chain’s portfolio. A major remodeling was slated for 2016, making it the right time to install a suite of energy and water saving measures that the company had piloted at other locations. Read more.


9. State of New York: BuildSmart NY - Executive Order 88

Seeking 20 percent savings in a building portfolio managed by scores of agencies with varying levels of expertise and capacity, New York implemented BuildSmart NY, a state-led initiative to drive energy efficiency action across state buildings.  The largest state electric utility in the nation, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), led this successful initiative by coordinating disparate agency efforts, mobilizing them with a concrete action plan and timeline, and supporting them with a comprehensive infrastructure of resources and technical assistance. Read more


10. Business Case for 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.