Beat Blog

by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 23, 2017
Welcome to the Better Buildings Challenge, Reno! The Biggest Little City in the World has set out to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2025 in municipal buildings and in participating commercial, multifamily, and industrial buildings across the City. The City of Reno...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 10, 2017
When the Better Buildings Challenge was initially established in 2011, Atlanta became one of the first cities in the country to join the Challenge and commit to 20 percent energy savings and 20 percent water-usage reduction across its city-wide infrastructure by the year 2020.  However, like a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 07, 2017
The City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has joined the Better Buildings Challenge, joining a long list of local governments that have committed to aggressive energy-efficiency goals that help municipalities save energy and money while creating jobs. In the United States, local government buildings...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 04, 2017
The Smart Energy Analytics (SEA) Campaign encourages the use of commercially available Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS) technologies and ongoing monitoring practices to help uncover energy-saving opportunities and improve building performance for the long run. With building...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 12, 2017
With all the excitement in the run-up to the Better Buildings Summit, you may have missed some of the great new resources that were published in the Better Buildings Solution Center! Take a minute to check out some of the newest solutions from Better Buildings Challenge partners: Partner:...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Jul 11, 2017
The recognition process is simple, but its message is significant. Local governments partnering with DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge stake their claim as leaders in energy efficiency, and that leadership receives recognition. This year, 10 Better Buildings Challenge partners were recognized in...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on May 08, 2017
Do you ever look at a courthouse and think “energy efficiency?" Probably not. That should change, as one of the trends we at Better Buildings are seeing is the prevalence of courthouse retrofits as a money- and energy-saving solution for local governments. Three local government partners – Placer...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Apr 21, 2017
In recognizing the enormous energy and cost savings opportunity across 23,000 commercial and industrial buildings and one million residential units, the City of Chicago launched the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge to help building owners actualize potential savings. The Challenge brings together...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 06, 2017
The City of San Diego has published a new Implementation Model highlighting their city-wide lighting retrofit project, and the process by which they were able to execute and pay for it. In response to California’s energy crisis in the early 2000s, the City of San Diego created a new department –...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Apr 03, 2017
Checking Out Savings at Arlington County’s Energy Lending Library Better Buildings local government partner Arlington County, Virginia has come up with a new way to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to the masses: an Energy Lending Library! As a public education service of the Arlington...
by John Jameson, ICF on Jan 10, 2017
Local government partners of the Better Buildings Challenge closed out 2016 with a flurry of major energy efficiency measures that will drive significant energy performance improvements and provide models for other city action across the country. Denver On December 19, 2016, the City of Denver...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Dec 22, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge Partner Chattanooga, Tennessee, announced its first showcase project, the Chattanooga Public Library. In the heart of downtown Chattanooga’s Innovation District, this unique 4-story, 12,000-square-foot space will undergo three phases of energy efficiency revitalization...
by Jonah Steinbuck, U.S. Department of Energy on Dec 22, 2016
On December 19, 2016, the City of Denver passed a landmark ordinance that will drive significant energy performance improvements in the City’s large multi-family and commercial buildings. The ordinance, the Energize Denver program, requires that the energy performance of large multi-family and...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Dec 19, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Knoxville, TN., hosted David Friedman, the acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE, for a two-day visit in December that included a tour of the Public Works complex. Knoxville’s new Public Works complex is a $15 million, 45,...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Dec 14, 2016
In November, the National League of Cities (NLC) hosted the annual City Summit in Pittsburgh, Pa., their largest conference for bringing city leaders together to discuss challenges, trends, and strategies. Two Better Buildings Local Government Partners, the City of Chula Vista, Calif., and the...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Sep 06, 2016
As social media expands its many channels – LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype – so do the innovative tactics institutions use to reach their communities. Arlington County, Va., pursued a non-traditional way of engaging both residents and the public sector at large. The latest addition to the Arlington...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 11, 2016
How often do professionals from the education, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and tech sectors get together AND talk about energy and climate change? If it’s in the city of Atlanta, the answer is at least once a month. That’s because in 2011 Atlanta was one of the first cities to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 29, 2016
Just two weeks ago the U.S. Department of Transportation's Secretary Anthony Foxx announced at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW), the seven finalist cities vying for a single award of up to $40 million to help define what it means to be a "Smart City" and become the first city to fully...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Feb 19, 2016
The City of Boston maintains 24 neighborhood libraries, with the Central Library in Copley Square serving the main headquarters. Referred to by architect Charles Follen McKim as the "palace for the people,” the facility has achieved a 25% reduction in energy consumption by upgrading its energy...
by Andrew Burr, U.S. Department of Energy on Feb 02, 2016
Last week, over 60 energy efficiency leaders ranging from the local, regional, and national levels participated in a Better Buildings and White House hosted Roundtable to recognize the accomplishments of cities and utilities in improving access to building energy data nation-wide and to discuss in...
by Chris Cloutier on Jan 06, 2016
In 2014 at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit, cities from around the world signed the Compact of Mayors, which establishes a common platform to capture the impact of the cities’ collective actions through the standardized measurement of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and assessment of...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 26, 2015
Last week we spent time in beautiful Lake Tahoe, and visited the Granlibakken conference center and resort, the showcase project for public sector partner Placer County in California.  The project was special for a few reasons (besides being a top destination for events, weddings and lodging in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 22, 2015
On September 16th, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall met with Los Angeles city leaders to witness the finishing touches being put on the upcoming La Kretz Innovation Campus, and soon-to-be home of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. When the campus...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 20, 2015
Last week, in Salt Lake City, Dr. Kathleen Hogan joined Mayor Becker in the presentation of the 2015 Project Skyline Mayor’s Challenge Awards. Project Skyline is the Mayor’s cornerstone initiative to  to improve air quality, boost economic development and improve livability in Salt Lake City. ...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 11, 2015
This week the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge director Maria T. Vargas visited three Better Buildings Challenge showcase projects in the cities of Denver and Arvada Colorado, and had the honor of being joined by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 30, 2015
After the city added lighting and controls retrofits, solar window film to reduce solar heat gain from daylighting, central plant upgrades, and implementation of a facility-wide energy management system, the El Paso International Airport has seen annual energy savings of 19 percent. Annual cost...
by Sarah Zaleski on Apr 09, 2015
This morning the Energy Department’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Lynn Orr, visited the John G. Shedd Aquarium, a Better Buildings Challenge showcase project for the City of Chicago. If you’re ever lucky enough to visit the Shedd Aquarium, here’s one more thing to admire in addition to...