Better Buildings - U.S. Department of Energy





The Better Buildings Bulletin is a bi-monthly feature to help keep you up-to-date on partner successes, program updates, opportunities to participate, and more.

In This Issue

Welcome New Partners!

Better Buildings Challenge

  • Washington University in St. Louis, 11 million square feet

Better Plants

  • Zimmer Biomet

Better Buildings Accelerators

Smart Labs

  • Wesleyan University

Better Buildings Residential Network

  • Affordable Community Energy Services Company
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Emerald Coast Energy Solutions
  • Energy Smart Colorado at Walking Mountains Science Center
  • Greenlight Construction, LLC
  • Indow
  • Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity
  • K-Electric Ltd.
  • Mackinac Technology Company
  • Renewable Energy Alaska Project
  • Wausau Supply Company

News and Announcements

LEEP Campaign Concludes with Strong Validation that High Energy Efficiency Parking Lighting is Ready for Prime Time

Since 2012, the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign has supported participants in their efforts to upgrade and install energy-efficiency equipment and lighting controls in over 540 million square feet of parking facilities, which has led to a savings of 137 million kWh annually –the equivalent of $14.79 million in electricity savings and deferring the energy usage of roughly 13,000 U.S. homes. In addition to saving money, LEEP participants have demonstrated the advantages and market readiness for high-efficiency lighting and controls systems in a wide spectrum of building sectors, both private and government owned.

According to the July 2017 U.S. DOE report, Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications, LED products have made the fastest inroads in outdoor applications, with parking garages reaching a penetration rate of 32.5 percent and parking lots reaching 26.2 percent in 2016. Additionally, 60 LEEP Campaign participants have been recognized for exemplary achievement in 20 different categories. Based on these achievements, it is clear the market has embraced the advantages of these high-efficiency systems, and the LEEP Campaign goals have been met.

Better Buildings Recognizes Shari’s Café & Pies and King County, Washington for Leadership in Energy Efficiency

Representatives from the Energy Department traveled to Shari’s Café & Pies in Lynnwood, Washington, and the King County International Airport to recognize these Better Buildings partners for their energy efficiency leadership. Shari’s Café & Pies is the first full-service restaurant to join the Better Buildings Challenge. At their Lynnwood location, Shari’s has realized a 28 percent reduction in energy use and a 43 percent reduction in water use. King County conducted a deep energy retrofit of its airport, originally constructed in 1929. Home to Boeing Field, King County International is one of the country’s busiest non-hub airports, averaging 200,000 takeoffs and landings annually. The retrofit project has already demonstrated energy savings of more than 60 percent from a suite of mechanical and lighting system upgrades.

Fargo, North Dakota, Takes Top Honors in Nationwide Community Energy Competition

The City of Fargo, North Dakota – a Better Buildings Residential Network member – has been named the winner of the Georgetown University Energy Prize. This 2-year, nationwide competition brought together 50 communities to rethink the way America's small- to medium-sized towns, cities, and counties use energy. In the final round of the competition, communities were evaluated on their energy-saving approach, performance, and prospects for nationwide replicability and scalability. In two years, Fargo reduced overall energy consumption by over 172 billion Btus through a combination of energy use data sharing and community engagement.

Top 10 Solutions in January

The first Top 10 Solutions for 2018 are here, featuring our 10 most-viewed solutions from January. We kick off the year with a few fresh projects for a variety of buildings! With solutions from sectors ranging from data centers to hotels to commercial buildings. Don’t forget to review the Top 10 for 2017!

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New Partner Solutions

The following Implementation Models, Showcase Projects, and Solutions at a Glance demonstrate the hard work and innovative thinking of Better Buildings partners. Take advantage of their success and check them out in the Better Buildings Solution Center.

Implementation Model

Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program

To overcome the impending retirement of many skilled-trades workers and the need for a new generation of trained professionals that is familiar with modern, energy-efficient technology, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) developed its own Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program, accredited by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

Healthy Homes Pilot Program

Gladys Gardens was an aging property with significant deferred maintenance needs. The Village of Hempstead Housing Authority partnered with its local community development corporation to improve the property's health and safety issues as part of a larger energy efficiency retrofit effort.

Food Lion's Comprehensive Energy Project Planning Enables Significant Efficiencies (RILA Retail Energy Management Program)

As part of its strong commitment to efficient operations and sustainability, grocery chain Food Lion strives to incorporate energy reduction projects into a comprehensive approach for corporate project proposal and planning.

Showcase Projects

Babbio Center at Stevens Institute of Technology

The Babbio Center is undergoing energy efficiency upgrades through retro-commissioning; these upgrades are expected to result in 20 percent energy savings. The 6-story building contains classrooms, an auditorium, and an energy-intensive, high-tech research center and lab.

Cascade Apartments

King County Housing Authority developed a series of retrofit measures designed to reduce energy use, increase comfort and indoor air quality, attenuate sound, and increase building durability. Through an Energy Performance Contract with Johnson Controls, the apartments were upgraded with LED lighting, 0.8 gallon-per-flush toilets, aerators, showerheads, ductless heat pumps, and energy recovery ventilation systems.

Chilled Water System Optimization Project

The chilled water system optimization project increased efficiency of General Motor’s Spring Hill site and reduced operating costs as a byproduct of that efficiency. GM intends to incorporate the lessons learned at Spring Hill whenever possible in future project installations and modernizations.

Fort Smallwood Facilities Directorate

Anne Arundel County Public Schools upgraded lighting, energy management equipment, and water efficient fixtures for an energy savings of 15 percent and cost savings of over $14,000.

Marysville Elementary School

As a result of upgrades to the HVAC, controls, and lighting systems, Portland Public Schools expects to realize annual energy savings of 48 percent and cost savings of $22,000 per year.

The Francis Cabot Lowell Mill I & II

This property is a 258-unit elderly/disabled residential apartment complex housed in what was the first fully-automated mill building in the country. Boston Land Company recently implemented an energy-efficient retrofit as part of the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN).

Timbercroft Apartments

Timbercroft Apartments is an affordable townhouse and apartment development located in Owings Mills, Maryland. WISHROCK recently completed major renovations and expects to show 20 percent energy savings, while maintaining the property’s affordability.

Trails at the Park

Trails at the Park is an affordable housing property owned by Foundation Communities that recently achieved 15 percent energy savings and 16 percent water savings after receiving a grant to implement comprehensive energy- and water-efficient upgrades.

Solutions at a Glance

Net Zero Energy RFQ

Community College of Allegheny County issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for their new 90,000-square-foot Workforce Development and Training Center, which will feature smart classrooms, laboratories, and multi-use spaces. The RFQ includes specifications for constructing the center as a Net Zero Energy facility.

Custom Lighting Commission Yields Energy Savings While Preserving Production Standards

Steelcase targeted one of its largest plants for an energy efficiency upgrade to its high-bay lighting. The project payback period was 2.5 years, as lighting system energy demand dropped from 565 KW to 242 KW. Lighting system energy consumption at the wood manufacturing facility is expected to decrease by over 65 percent per year, with estimated annual cost savings of $185,000.

Milwaukee’s Business and Community Engagement Strategy

The City of Milwaukee’s business and community engagement strategy includes incentives, education and outreach, and recognition to encourage local businesses and K-12 schools to join the Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge and implement energy efficiency projects in their buildings.

Efficient Dipper Wells Save Water and Energy

Shari’s Café & Pies identified the potential for substantial water and energy savings through upgrades to the dipper wells at their 24-hour restaurants. The new wells resulted in an average of 35 percent reduction in total water use, with some restaurants achieving as much as 50 percent.

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Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Webinars, Industry Events

Better Buildings Webinars

February 21: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET
Roadmap to 20% Energy Savings – A Quantitative Tool to Plan Your Strategy

Every Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) Multifamily partner knows that your core commitment as a BBC leader is to reduce your portfolio-wide energy consumption by 20 percent. We spend a lot of time on the details, but it's also important to step back and take the long view. This webinar will demonstrate the use of a planning tool developed by Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future that helps you create a strategy for reaching energy or water reduction targets for your portfolio, sort through different conservation options, and make informed choices that demonstrate to decision-makers a concrete path to success.

Register here

March 6: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Cutting Water Waste: DOE and EPA Resources to Advance Water Efficiency

Learn about tools and resources from the Energy Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that can help you meter and track water consumption, identify savings opportunities, and implement best practices to accelerate your water saving strategies.

Register here

March 22: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
On the Market: Connecting Energy Efficiency to Real Estate Transactions

This Better Buildings Residential Network Peer Exchange call will discuss ways energy efficiency programs can leverage real estate transactions and various aspects of home improvement to promote energy efficiency opportunities and encourage upgrades.

Register here

April 3: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Taking Control: Best Practices in Energy Data Management and Tools for Success

This webinar features public, commercial, and multifamily sector partners sharing best practices on energy data management and will introduce DOE's Energy Data Management Guide.

Register here

May 1: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Financing 2.0: Navigating 3rd-Party Financing for Efficiency and Renewables

This webinar introduces the Better Buildings Financing Navigator 2.0, the latest iteration of DOE’s online tool that helps connect organizations with financing for energy efficiency and renewables projects. Join to learn about the new features and key trends in financing.

Register here

Tech Team Calls and Technology Webinars

March 6: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
Plug & Process Load Technical Research Team Bi-Annual Call

Experts from the California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug) will provide insights on their PPL research focus areas that affect commercial building efficiency: plug load appliances and devices in use, consumer behavior studies, energy conservation in server rooms, and benchmarking energy efficiency prototypes and products. Further, attendees will get an update on the PPL Team’s upcoming research.

Register here

March 22: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM ET
LED Downlight Lamps for CFL Fixtures

Check out the latest installment in the GSA’s Outbrief Webinar Series! Researchers evaluated an LED replacement lamp that uses the same four-pin socket and electronic ballast as an incumbent CFL. Results demonstrated energy savings of between 40-50 percent, matching light levels and quality. GSA facility managers will share operational guidance, and an interactive Q&A will conclude the webinar.

Register here

April 19: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
Lessons Learned from IoT/Smart Lighting Installations

Increasingly facilities managers are looking at upgrading existing equipment to LEDs coupled with luminaire-integrated sensors and controls. This webinar covers results from the Next Generation Lighting Systems field evaluation of 12 systems currently installed in classrooms at The New School, Parsons School of Design, in New York City. How did the installations go? What challenges did the contractors encounter? Following the presentation, participants can provide feedback related to IoT and connected lighting needs.

Register here

Industry Events and Conferences

March 5-9
IDEA Campus Energy Conference

Attendees at the IDEA Campus Energy Conference in Baltimore will have the opportunity to explore emerging technologies and innovative polices, and to connect with campus leaders advancing a new energy paradigm for campus energy systems.

Register here

April 9-11
PRSM National Conference

This conference targets Facilities Management professionals in Retail and Restaurants, and features education sessions across topics including sustainability, finance, and business management. The program will feature networking events and a trade show of over 300 exhibitors.

Register here

April 23-26
2018 HPC National Home Performance Conference and Trade Show

The Home Performance Coalition (HPC) joins with industry leaders and home performance contracting businesses, program administrators, and others working in the residential energy efficiency industry for its annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Register here

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Latest from the Beat Blog and Partners in the News

Beat Blog: Featured Stories

This is just a taste of what’s happening on the Better Buildings Beat Blog! Visit the Beat Blog online for the whole story!

Energy Treasure Hunt Yields Strong Energy Savings Opportunities at Prevost South Plainfield, New Jersey, Facility

Prevost, a subsidiary of Volvo Group, conducted its first-ever energy treasure hunt at their South Plainfield, New Jersey, facility January 14-15. Staff from Prevost were motivated after participating in a Better Plants In-Plant Training on Energy Treasure Hunt Exchanges. Over the 2-day event, two teams composed of Prevost employees and veterans from Volvo’s Mack Trucks energy treasure hunt conducted a holistic assessment of the South Plainfield site to uncover energy efficiency opportunities, share best practices, and increase employee engagement in the plant’s energy management efforts.

Unlocking Innovative Design for Better Schools

The Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy (AEDG) was recently released to support elementary, middle, and high schools in their pursuit of zero energy performance goals for deep retrofits and new construction projects. Zero energy buildings produce enough renewable energy onsite to meet annual consumption needs through a combination of innovative design strategies, efficient technologies, and improvements in the management of building operations. The AEDG provides technical guidance for school districts to take energy efficiency goals from conception to fruition and is meant to complement existing resources and strategies.

Chicago and DC Receive Awards, BBC Partners Convene to Share Energy Solutions

Two Better Buildings partners received awards at the 2017 North American Climate Summit, held in December in Chicago. The City of Chicago earned the Cities4Energy Award for its Retrofit Chicago program; Washington, D.C. received the Cities4Tomorrow Award, in recognition of the Climate Ready D.C. Plan. Both prizes are part of the 2017 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards. In addition, the Mayors of Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Knoxville, and Salt Lake City attended the Chicago event and spoke to gathered city leaders about their energy efficiency efforts.

500 Home Energy Score Assessors Have Now Scored Over 75,000 Homes Nationwide

Since the program launch in 2012, over 500 individuals are qualified to offer the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score, a miles-per-gallon energy rating system for homes. As of the end of 2017, the Home Energy Score Assessor squad has created more than 75,000 Scores in homes across the United States.

The Beat Blog is updated throughout the week.

Partners in the News

Select news articles featuring Better Buildings partners are listed below. Recently, partners have been recognized by Distributed Energy Magazine, Facility Executive, Buildings Magazine, Multi-Housing News, and more.

For a full listing, please visit the Better Buildings Partners in the News page.

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Better Information

Better Buildings Alliance

High Efficiency Lighting: Interior Lighting Campaign Partners Save Money and Get Recognition

The Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) is designed to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities from high-efficiency interior lighting solutions. The ILC’s goal is to document the replacement or new installation of at least 2 million high-efficiency luminaires (troffers, high-bay, low-bay, and suspended linear lighting systems and controls) by April 2018. As of February 2018, ILC participants have planned or installed 1.5 million of these lighting systems, amounting to annual energy savings of over $28 million. Applications for 2018 recognition for exemplary performance are due April 23, 2018. For more information, please contact us.

Submit projects here

Archived Webinars

Buildings that Rebound: Resiliency Strategies for Commercial Buildings and Communities

As the energy sector is subject to more external risk due to natural and human events, more developers and building owners are discussing resilient building design. Learn about the technologies and strategies being pursued to address resilience.

Big Results in Small Places: Exploring the Untapped Energy Efficiency Potential of Small Data Centers

Learn why small data centers shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to energy efficiency, and discover low-cost, high-win strategies that can reduce energy demand.

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Is There Something We Missed?

Tell us! We want to promote partner successes in our newsletters, emails, social media, and of course the Beat Blog. You can reach us at:

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