Top-10 Solutions in November


Better Buildings Beat Team
Dec 01, 2015

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


1. 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.

Learn more here.



2.  General Mills: Cedar Rapids Heat Recovery

General Mills' Cedar Rapids, Iowa, plant is its largest production facility, producing over 70 million cases of ready–to–eat food annually, including cereals, fruit snacks, and frosting. Built in 1968, the facility has a successful history of energy reduction, the product of General Mills' five–step process that benchmarks, identifies, develops, executes, and then validates energy reduction projects. In four years, the plant has achieved energy savings of 13 percent, and is currently implementing a comprehensive, $1.5 million heat recovery project that will reduce the plant's energy intensity by an additional 5 percent.

Learn more here.

General Mills: Cedar Rapids Heat Recovery


3. REACH CDC: Passive House for Affordable Housing

For 33 years, REACH Community Development has built and managed innovative and affordable housing for low-income families and individuals in Oregon and Washington. REACH also provides supportive services to residents and free home repairs to senior homeowners. Today, REACH’s portfolio includes 2,073 units of affordable housing within single family homes, apartment buildings, and mixed-use developments. REACH has won numerous state and national awards for its creative approach to building healthy communities and innovative housing projects. 

Learn more here.

Placer County: Granlibakeen Conference Center and Resort


4. 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.

Learn more here.

City of Milwaukee: Property Assessed Clean Energy PACE Program


5. GE: Operations Management Leadership Program

GE is strategically reducing energy consumption throughout its manufacturing operations and supply chain through its Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP). By design, the program accelerates the deployment of newly hired engineers that are trained in GE's energy and environmental management program and equipped with the necessary functional and leadership skills needed to help meet the company's near– and long–term operational challenges.

Learn more here.

GE: Operations Management Leadership Program


6. MGM: Energy Efficiency Education Mobile 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.


7. Arby's: 1751 Howell Mill Rd.

1751 Howell Mill Road is a 3,200 square foot restaurant building owned by Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. The restaurant is located in Atlanta, Georgia and is a flagship location demonstrating Arby's newest design and energy saving measures. The restaurant was remodeled in April 2015 and is now the most energy efficient Arby’s location in the U.S, with energy reductions totalling 38 percent or $10,000 dollars annually. The location has now completed a wide range of energy efficiency improvements. These include interior and exterior LED lighting retrofits, high efficiency HVAC retrofits, refrigeration and cooking equipment upgrades, an asset management system, and behavior based initiatives. 

Learn more here.


8. Placer County: Granlibakeen Conference Center and Resort

Placer County's Granlibakken Conference Center & Resort is located less than one mile from beautiful Lake Tahoe in the heart of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. The project achieved 42 percent energy savings for $43,000 by focusing on energy efficiency improvements to the conference center and restaurant. Upgrades were financed by mPOWER Placer through the Placer County Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program.

Learn more here.

Placer County: Granlibakeen Conference Center and Resort


9. Hilton: Columbus Downtown

The Hilton Columbus Downtown, located in the heart of the city near Ohio State University contains 32,000 square feet of event space, a 160–seat full–service restaurant and bar, a fitness center, and an indoor pool and whirlpool. The property features a number of energy conservation measures including efficient lighting, a building automation system, and variable frequency drives. As a result, Hilton Worldwide saved 32% in annual energy consumption and $387,000 in annual energy costs versus ASHRAE 90.1 200.

Learn more here.

Hilton Columbus Downtown


10. Citi: Riverdale Data Center Energy Services Agreement

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.

Learn more here.