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Top Solutions Of 2022

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 05, 2022
2022 Top 10

As we approach the new year, we are excited to share the most popular resources of 2022 on the Better Buildings Solution Center. Dig into the top 10 most viewed partner solutions and the top 10 most viewed toolkits from the past year and see what you may have missed!

Jump to toolkits




1. Showcase Project: Celanese Improves Plant Energy Performance with Boiler Upgrade 

Better Plants Challenge partner Celanese reduced annual energy costs by nearly 20% after completing a $160 million boiler replacement project at its plant in Narrows, Virginia. The project replaced coal-fired boilers with natural gas-fired boilers, substantially improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste. Read more.


2. Showcase Project: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s John Ferraro Building

Built in 1965, the John Ferraro Building (JFB) is an iconic office building that houses Better Plants partner, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The LADWP implemented several energy and water efficiency upgrades to the building’s lighting, plumbing, fan, and chiller systems. The upgrades resulted in 37% energy savings and over $1.7 million in cost savings; the building also achieved LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance. Read more.


3. Implementation Model: IHG Hotels & Resorts Green Engage™ Program

IHG Hotels and Resorts, a Better Buildings Alliance partner, created the IHG Green Engage™ system as a comprehensive online sustainability platform. It allows hotels to track, measure, and report on their carbon footprint and utility consumption. With over 200 Green Solutions, including detailed action plans, guidance, and case studies, Green Engage can help hotels avoid up to $67 million in utility costs while significantly reducing their carbon footprint. Read more.


4.Showcase Project: New York City Housing Authority's 344 East 28th Street

To address energy challenges faced at its 344 East 28th Street multifamily apartment complex, Better Buildings Challenge partner New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) conducted an extensive lighting, heating, and hot-water modernization project. Energy-efficient upgrades made to these building systems, as well as NYCHA’s first-ever deployment of renewable technologies, resulted in nearly 40% annual energy savings and nearly $114,000 in cost savings. Read more.


5. Implementation Model: Ford Motor Company: Dearborn Campus Uses Digital Twin Tool for Energy Plant Management

A digital twin is the virtual representation of an object or system across its life cycle that helps operators quickly identify problems. Better Plants partner Ford Motor Company is using a digital twin of the new energy central energy plant (CEP) at its Dearborn Research and Engineering Campus. The new CEP is projected to achieve a 50% reduction in campus energy and water use; the digital twin enables tracking the plant’s performance towards that target. The model helps the Ford team manage energy and operational risks by monitoring operations across the CEP and providing real-time data for increased visibility and more efficient operations and design. Read more.


6. Implementation Model: Zebra Technologies' Climate-Related Physical Risk Characterization and Analysis

In collaboration with DOE’s National Labs, Better Plants and Better Climate Challenge partner Zebra Technologies conducted climate scenario analysis using guidance from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine climate risks under the best- and worst-case scenarios for its operations and value chain. This risk assessment framework helped Zebra improve insights for climate-related risk preparedness at both tactical and strategic levels. Read more.


7. Implementation Model: Ford Motor Company's Go Green Dealership Program

Through its Go Green Initiative, Ford partners with independently owned and operated Ford dealerships to adopt energy efficient technologies and practices. Since launching with just three dealerships in 2010, the program now includes approximately 1,700 member dealerships and has led to the identification of significant savings. The first group of Go Green assessments for 270 participating dealerships led to the identification of a potential average annual savings of $33,000 for the average dealership, equating to a 27% reduction in energy with a 3.5 year payback. Read more.


8. Showcase Project: Los Angeles Department of Water’s Aqueduct Filtration Plant Modernization – Oxygen Plant Replacement (new)

The Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant (LAAFP) treats all of the water delivered from the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the California Aqueduct and has a treatment capacity of up to 600 million gallons of water per day. To optimize energy efficiency, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) began a comprehensive modernization of the LAAFP, with a long-range program to upgrade and replace aging equipment. The replacement of old equipment and construction of a new UV plant has helped LADWP save money and energy, while improving operations. Read more.


9. Showcase Project: Iron Mountain Data Centers' Geothermal Cooling System 

To help its customers reap the benefits of reduced energy consumption, increased reliability, and improved security, Better Buildings Challenge partner Iron Mountain Data Centers developed an innovative, energy-efficient geothermal cooling system at its Boyers, PA site. The site is located 200 feet underground in a former limestone mine containing a 35-acre water reservoir. Combined with a surface-mounted free-cooling chiller plant, Iron Mountain’s geothermal cooling system has yielded 34% energy savings. Read more.


10. Showcase Project: Baltimore Housing Capitalizes on Retrofit Work and System Efficiency at Cherry Hill Homes

Built in 1945 by Better Buildings Challenge Partner the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC), Cherry Hill Homes is the largest public housing development in Baltimore, MD. To address heating issues, HABC capitalized on previous retrofit work and systems efficiency by making equipment and controls more accessible to maintenance personnel. Additionally, they replaced the entire heating system and installed new lighting, weatherization, heating controls, smart meters, and more. The upgrades resulted in 35% energy savings and over $1.1 million in cost savings. Read more.



1. Low Carbon Technology Strategies Toolkit

To help building owners and operators reduce carbon emissions, this toolkit offers guidance on how to achieve deep carbon reductions in existing buildings with a primary focus on retrofits and operational strategies. Low carbon technology strategies are currently available for 10 building types, with a supplement for commercial kitchen equipment. Recommendations are grouped by technology, with actions categorized as either simple, intermediate, or advanced. Read more.


2. Green Revolving Funds Toolkit

This collection of solutions provides guidance on establishing a green revolving fund to overcome a lack of dedicated capital. A green revolving fund is an internal capital pool dedicated to funding energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects that generate cost savings. A portion of those savings is then used to replenish the fund, establishing an ongoing funding vehicle to help drive energy efficiency and sustainability investment over time. Read more.


3. Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit

This collection of resources enables state and local communities to benefit from the experience of partners who have successfully established and implemented performance contracting. It includes best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used. Users can easily find the information they need at each stage of their ESPC decision-making process. Read more.


4. Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities (CELICA) Toolkit

Low-income households spend about 8% of their income on energy costs, three times more than average. Better Buildings Accelerator partners committed $335 million to help 155,000 low-income households access energy efficiency and renewable energy benefits, collecting resources and lessons learned into the CELICA Toolkit. The toolkit includes a guide to program development and replicable program models for single-family and multifamily housing, as well as community solar. Read more.


5. Smart Energy Analytics Campaign Toolkit

With analytic software applied to everyday building operations, owners are using data to their advantage and realizing cost savings through improved energy management. This toolkit collects the best resources from DOE’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities and performance improvements from energy management information systems (EMIS) and ongoing monitoring practices. Read more.


6. High-Efficiency RTU Replacement Toolkit

This toolkit helps HVAC contractors and service companies work with their customers through a step-by-step process of evaluating and managing their inventory of rooftop units (RTUs) and how to evaluate the business case for high-efficiency replacements. From an incentives database to a comparison calculator, the toolkit provides everything needed to make an informed decision regarding RTU replacements. Read more.


7. Engaging Tenants in Energy Efficiency Toolkit

Building occupants can control up to 80% of energy use in a commercial building. Tenant engagement in energy efficiency initiatives is crucial to unlocking the full energy savings potential. This toolkit outlines successful strategies and resources for bridging the tenant-landlord divide through green leasing guidance, tenant improvement and build-out best practices, and examples of successful communication with tenants regarding energy efficiency opportunities. Read more.


8. Wastewater Energy Management Toolkit

Municipal wastewater treatment systems in the U.S. consume approximately 30 billion kWh annually, and their operations are typically the largest energy users in a community. This toolkit enables water resource recovery facilities to improve their energy efficiency, providing best practices and innovative approaches successfully used by wastewater facilities to establish and implement energy management plans. It is based on the work of DOE's Better Buildings Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Accelerator. Read more.


9. Commercial PACE Financing for New Construction Toolkit

Commercial PACE financing helps building owners overcome the upfront costs of implementing energy, water, or resilience projects at their properties. This toolkit provides resources and project case studies for building owners and developers that may want to take advantage of CPACE for new construction. Read more.


10. Efficiency-as-a-Service Toolkit

Efficiency-as-a-Service (EaaS) is a pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solution that allows customers to implement energy and water efficiency projects with no upfront capital expenditure. It is a relatively new financing mechanism, in which customers pay a provider for the service of energy savings. This toolkit provides resources and case studies from Better Buildings partners Iron Mountain, AT&T, and others to help building owners, operators, and occupants who may want to take advantage of EaaS for energy and water projects. Read more.