Beat Blog

by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 28, 2017
The City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is capturing impressive energy and cost savings from recent renovations to its water filtration plant and its own office building. LADWP is the nation's largest municipally-owned utility, providing water and electric service to...
by Marta Schantz (Waypoint), Michael Deru (NREL) on Mar 28, 2017
Earlier this month on March 12-14th in Orlando FL, Michael Deru and Marta Schantz represented the Advanced RTU Campaign at the SPECS Show: the retail event for store innovation. SPECS brings together leaders from the nation’s top retailers and suppliers to learn, share ideas, develop business...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
Kentucky’s Bullitt County Public School District (BCPS) has experienced a lot of expansion and growth system-wide, adding 600,000 square feet of new space in the last decade alone. Even the older buildings are expanding! For example, Mt. Washington Elementary was originally built in 1974, with 51,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
At the Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center, part of Cleveland Clinic’s network of hospitals and healthcare facilities, the answer to more savings was in low and no-cost improvements. The Twinsburg facility was designed and certified LEED Gold, but after only a year of operation was using...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
Leaders in energy efficiency know that goals are rarely achieved without trying something new. Better Buildings Challenge healthcare partner UW Health recently took advantage of an energy incentive pilot program offered through their local utility, and managed to reduce demand levels for three...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
The 2017 Better Buildings Summit is right around the corner and we want to make sure you have everything you need to register. Check out confirmed speakers, sessions, and special events on the Summit website today. BY THE NUMBERS: 125+ SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS ARE PLANNED ACROSS MULTIPLE SECTORS AND...
by Better Buildings Commercial Real Estate Team on Mar 23, 2017
Leaders in the commercial real estate (CRE) sector have indicated a market need for information about the legality of submetering throughout the country. According to DOE's Energy Efficiency in Separate Tenant Spaces Report, achieving greater levels of tenant energy efficiency is feasible through...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 22, 2017
Better Buildings Initiative partners in pursuit of their energy savings, can sometimes hit a roadblock that stalls progress in meeting their goals. To help overcome these moments of pause, at this year's Better Buildings Summit, national laboratory experts are available to help attendees and...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Mar 16, 2017
Increasingly, K-12 schools across the country provide learning opportunities in unexpected places, with new, exciting subject matter such as energy efficiency. For instance our Better Buildings Challenge K-12 partners are implementing innovative, educational energy practices across their campuses...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 15, 2017
The Department of Energy is taking energy efficiency to a new level at the 2017 Better Buildings Summit from May 15 to 17 in Washington, D.C. Featuring energy experts from a variety of backgrounds and sectors, the Summit has a little bit of everything for attendees. And this year we are debuting a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 02, 2017
After releasing our Top-10 Solutions in January, February has brought in a few game-changers to our list of top solutions. February’s Top-10 Solutions are motivating! Check out the latest Top-10: 1.  Better Buildings Financing Navigator  The U.S. Department of Energy introduced a new, web-based...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 09, 2017
Fresh off our Top-10 Solutions in 2016, the first month of 2017 has seen our Solution rankings moving and shaking. January’s Top-10 Solutions kick off the year with a bang. See our latest Top-10 below: 1. Better Buildings Financing Navigator In January, the U.S. Department of Energy introduced a...
by Better Buildings Multifamily Team on Jan 19, 2017
The New Year is off to a strong start with Better Buildings Multifamily partner Corcoran Management being recognized as a leader in energy efficiency by DOE and HUD. In January, Corcoran Management Founder John Corcoran hosted a tour of Canterbury Towers, an apartment community in Worcester,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 18, 2017
Ever wonder what the Better Buildings Summit can do to help you advance your organization's energy, water, or sustainability programs? Watch this 30-second video and see how 900 Summit attendees get energized at our Summit. Register soon to save your spot.
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 18, 2017
When we think of building technologies and energy efficiency, we usually jump to things like lighting, HVAC, and building automation systems. However, the first system of a building that plays a role in its efficiency and performance is the envelope. The building envelope – walls, windows, roofs,...
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 Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 09, 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Summit will take place this May 15-17, in Washington, D.C. As one of the premier events for energy and business professionals, the Summit is the forum to engage with peers and explore and share innovative organizational strategies, trends in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 05, 2017
The Better Buildings Challenge added 60 new partners in 2016. We are grateful for their leadership and their commitment to reduce their energy use and share their lessons learned and expertise!
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 05, 2017
This year's Top-10 Solutions are featured below. These are the most-viewed solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center. 1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 04, 2017
Applications are open to submit your organization for the Advanced RTU Campaign's annual recognition efforts! For 2017, the awards will be presented at the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association’s National Conference in Dallas, Texas, on April 19. These awards serve to highlight...
by Marta Schantz, Waypoint Building Group; Sormeh Konjkav Waypoint Building Group; Rois Langner, NREL on Jan 03, 2017
Chances are the commercial building you work in or manage consumes excess energy by drawing power from appliances when not in use. In fact, the General Services Administration estimates that 25% of commercial plug load electricity is lost to these “phantom” loads.  An easy solution to reduce...
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 Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 21, 2016
Over the last six months, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been working with 38 state and local partners to identify ways to reduce monthly home energy bills for low income residents by increasing opportunities for energy efficiency and solar installations. In collaboration with the U.S....
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 Amanda Chiu, SRA International Inc., A CSRA Company on Dec 15, 2016
For most American households, a 5-30% savings on energy bills is possible by making home energy upgrades typically identified in a home energy assessment. State and local governments, utilities, and nonprofits across the nation offer programs that allow home owners to upgrade their home to reduce...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Dec 15, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge K-12 Schools partner Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS), located in northern Florida, has launched one of the country’s most innovative solar leasing programs. The feed-in tariff (FIT) program is a public-private partnership which allows private investors to lease...
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 Holt Mountcastle and Joe Indvik, JDM Associates on Dec 14, 2016
Upfront costs are a major barrier to implementing energy efficiency projects. Despite demonstrated energy cost savings of at least 20-30% and the low risk nature of investments in energy efficiency, many efficiency projects do not receive the funding required for implementation. This is due, in...
by Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Team on Dec 12, 2016
The Better Buildings Summit is one of the premier forums for multifamily housing organizations to showcase proven strategies to cut energy used by the housing units comprising their buildings and facilities.  At the Summit, attendees engage with more than 900 industry experts including Better...
by Monica Kanojia, The Hannon Group, Better Buildings Iniative on Dec 08, 2016
Education serves as the foundation of a strong and resilient society. While educators and curriculums contribute greatly to the success of the student body, it has become progressively apparent that the built environment also has an impact on not just energy but also student performance. The power...
by Sapna Gheewala, U.S. Department of Energy, ORISE Fellow on Dec 07, 2016
With over 25 school districts signed up for the Better Buildings Challenge, covering 15,000 buildings and over 225 million square feet, our partners have taken on and overcome various barriers to advancing clean energy goals. K-12 School Districts across the country continue to face student...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 07, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out November's Top-10 solutions below.  1. SWAP Season 2: U.S. Naval Academy vs. U.S. Air Force Academy The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched season two of “Better Buildings Challenge SWAP,” featuring...
by Better Buildings Challenge multifamily team on Dec 05, 2016
In the November issue of Multifamily Executive, an article on how the Better Buildings Challenge assists property owners with using data to make energy efficient choices was revealed. In the article, Better Buildings Challenge partners receive assistance with utility benchmarking and utility data...
by John Jameson, ICF International on Dec 05, 2016
On October 25, the Department of Energy (DOE) visited the campus of Better Buildings Challenge partner University of California, Berkeley, to recognize the university for its leadership in energy efficiency and see their innovative efficiency projects in action. The University achieved 65 percent...
by Scotty Davids, Midshipman, U.S. Naval Academy on Dec 01, 2016
Saving energy and reducing our amount of waste is a habit that we as future junior officers need to develop. Students at the U.S. Naval Academy represent the future of the U.S. Navy, and we have the potential to introduce a culture of conservation and awareness within the organization. Through my...
by Christil Pasion, Cadet First Class, U.S. Air Force Academy on Nov 30, 2016
In the Air Force, energy is everything. As a civil engineering major at the Air Force Academy, I’ve come to learn how dependent we are on energy—we can’t do anything without it. That’s why participating in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge SWAP was such an important opportunity...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 29, 2016
Could harnessing America’s binge-watching habits change the world? With the launch of Season 2 of the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP we hope to find out. Touching down tomorrow, this season features two natural rivals – the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy – as they swap energy teams...
by Andrew Held, ICF on Nov 23, 2016
Legrand North America (LNA), a Better Plants Challenge partner, is proud to announce the winners of the Best Performance in building class for the Energy Marathon 2.0. The company-wide, mega event concluded on October 28th, with the selection of winners in each of the three building class category...
by Monica Kanojia, The Hannon Group on Nov 23, 2016
Zero energy design and construction has become a key strategy in working towards energy independence and resilience for American cities. Building to zero energy specifications has emerged in recent years as a viable solution to meet the built environment needs of a growing global population, which...
by Andre de Fontaine on Nov 23, 2016
Today, more than ever, our economy runs on computing power. Even Black Friday is being supplanted by Cyber Monday. While the internet, mobile phones, and other connected devices make our lives easier in so many ways, there is a downside. Processing, storing, and distributing this electronic data...
by Joan Glickman on Nov 17, 2016
A primary concern when shopping for or comparing cars is knowing the fuel economy. What kind of performance can you expect to get out of your vehicle? How does it compare to other vehicles? What’s the monthly impact on your pocketbook? The same goes for homes because owners and renters want to...
by Monica Kanojia on Nov 02, 2016
A vital component of the development of an energy efficient, sustainable building stock is the availability of highly skilled professionals to assist in its development. As energy efficient technologies and strategies become more advanced it is imperative to have a workforce that is capable of...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 31, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out October's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Rois Langner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Marta Schantz, Waypoint Building, and Sormeh Konjkav, Waypoint Building on Oct 27, 2016
Garlic may keep vampires from sucking your blood, but what’s keeping vampires loads from sucking your energy? Plug and Process Loads (PPLs) account for 33% of U.S. commercial building energy use. A portion of that energy can be attributed to vampire or phantom loads: energy use from electric...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 25, 2016
Better Plants partners had a banner year, with two Challenge partners and eight program partners meeting their goals of reducing energy intensity by at least 25 percent within 10 years. Their leadership brings the total number of energy goal achievers, since the start of Better Plants, to 35. An...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 24, 2016
It’s time to get excited for the 2017 Better Buildings Summit, presented by the U.S. Department of Energy!  For the fourth consecutive year, over 900 Better Buildings partners and allies will come together at the Summit to explore and share innovative strategies, emerging trends, and high-impact...
by Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Oct 24, 2016
On October 3rd, Legrand North America, a Better Plants Challenge partner, kicked off the Energy Marathon 2.0, a company-wide internal competition designed to save as much energy as possible through employee engagement and ready-to-implement technologies. The Energy Marathon is a 26.2-day (about...
by Jordan Hibbs, U.S. Department of Energy on Oct 18, 2016
The 2016 LEEP Campaign Awards were announced on October 5 in Los Angeles, California at Greenbuild, the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Sixteen organizations were recognized in twenty-one award categories for new lighting installs and retrofits. There was much...
by Eli Levine and Bruce Lung, U.S. Department of Energy on Oct 18, 2016
Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of creators and inventors. Opening the doors to their facilities, companies can dispel notions of manufacturing being ‘dumb, dirty, dangerous, and disappearing’, and showcase how innovation and advanced...

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