Skip to main content

Top 10 Solutions for October 2017

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 02, 2017
Top 10

The Top 10 Solutions from October will inspire you to immediately improve your energy-efficiency practices. The Top 10 Solutions from September kicked off our fall solutions with a bang, but October delivered some crucial building insights for the colder months ahead. This edition of the Top 10 offers some innovative local government solutions, industrial successes, and much more. Check out our October Top 10!

1. Power Purchase Agreement for the D.C. Department of General Services – Sol Systems

In early 2015, the District of Columbia Department of General Services (DGS) sought to develop one of the largest municipal portfolios of onsite solar energy projects in the United States. The portfolio would consist of 10.9 megawatts of solar electric capacity installed across 35 projects including schools, hospitals, recreation centers, police training facilities, and one carport. They engaged Sol Systems—a solar finance and development firm located in Washington, D.C.—to implement these projects using a power purchase agreement (PPA). Read more.

2. Developing an Energy Management Policy through Public-Private Partnership – Legacy Health

Legacy Health enrolled in Energy Trust of Oregon’s commercial Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Initiative for assistance in establishing a culture around energy savings at its facilities. To create an energy management plan and strategy specific to Legacy Health, Energy Trust experts evaluated and developed a list of potential energy-saving improvements that could be implemented at each of the organization’s six hospitals in the Portland metro area. Read more.

3. 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. This Solution-at-a-Glance delves into a variety of approaches to implementing efficient outdoor-lighting strategies. Read more.

4. Energy Data Access Toolkit: Blueprint for Action

Across the nation, building owners are measuring and tracking the energy performance of their buildings more than ever before. Known as energy benchmarking, this process helps building owners manage energy consumption and reduce wasted energy. Many owners are prevented from benchmarking and making energy-efficiency improvements because they cannot access simple energy information for tenant-occupied spaces within their buildings. Building owners can leverage this toolkit to measure energy and utilize proven solutions to track efficiency progress. Read more.

5. Implement Energy Management Information Systems in Your Building Portfolio

Energy management information systems (EMIS) are a relatively new technology based on the old adage "you can't manage what you don’t measure." EMIS gives property owners and managers the ability to see their energy use and take action to reduce waste.  This toolkit outlines a starting point. Read more.

6. Using EMIS to Identify Top Opportunities for Commercial Building Efficiency

This guide aims to inform building owners and operators, facility managers, energy and sustainability managers, and others with modest experience in data analysis and performance monitoring of the latest EMIS applications in commercial buildings. Read more.

7. Boiler Control System Upgrades – Bentley Mills

Bentley Mills uses a large quantity of steam while powering their manufacturing processes. In 2014, Bentley Mills began a project to upgrade the control system of one of its largest natural gas fired boilers, which had been in operation for 20 years. After the replacement of the boiler was completed, Bentley Mills ended up saving more in energy costs than anticipated, and the plant experienced little-to-no downtime during the replacement process. Read more.

8. Comprehensive Occupant Engagement Program – Northwestern University

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.

9. Interactive State Submetering Map – Aquicore  

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

10. Tenant Engagement Focus Groups – Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge

Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) is a nation-leading, public-private initiative to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent in more than 114 million square feet of participating buildings across Atlanta by 2020. Since many of these buildings are not owner-occupied, there isn’t always a direct incentive for building tenants or owners to improve energy efficiency. In 2016, the ABBC convened a focus group of both building owners and tenants around the topic of engaging occupants in energy-efficiency efforts, and the insights gleaned from the group’s data helped drive improved efficiency practices across the city. Read more