The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner MetLife Investment Management for energy efficiency advances made in its District Center. The 910,000-square-foot building in Washington, D.C. is a Better Buildings showcase project and saves 31% annually on energy costs, which equates to more than $500,000 per year – a 33% energy reduction compared to a 2014 baseline. View photos on the Beat Blog.
The 2020 Summit will occur June 8-10, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.). The Summit will consist of three days of engaging, interactive sessions across six tracks with fellow industry stakeholders and experts, as well as special events, workshops, and peer networking opportunities. Don't miss this chance to explore emerging technologies and share innovative strategies in energy and water efficiency with fellow professionals. The first 100 registrations get a discounted rate, so reserve your place today! View the latest Summit updates.
The following Implementation Models, Showcase Projects, and Solutions-at-a-Glance demonstrate the hard work and innovative thinking of Better Buildings partners. Check out these replicable solutions and others in the Better Buildings Solution Center.
Citizen Energy completed projects at two multifamily properties using an efficiency-as-a-service financing solution. Despite the variance in ownership structures, efficiency-as-a-service worked for each property, resulting in immediate energy cost savings.
The Tower Companies installed the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic system on a multifamily building in Montgomery County, Maryland. Not only does the 122-kilowatt installation reduce almost 10% of the overall operating costs at Blair House, but the project is expected to achieve a 1-year after-tax payback.
Lever Real Estate Capital provided $4.6 million in property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for various energy conservation measures as part of the redevelopment of the historic Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. These energy efficiency improvements are expected to generate $116,000 in annual utility savings.
Saint-Gobain North America (SGNA) established a "compressed air challenge" to tackle compressed air leakages. This challenge, accepted by 19 SGNA facilities, employed a point system to incentivize teams to find and fix compressed air leaks. These fixes resulted in company-wide savings of 26 gigawatt-hours and $2.5 million in electricity costs.
Agropur commissioned a study that identified upgrades to the ammonia refrigeration system as an opportunity to significantly reduce energy at the Le Sueur plant. The project reduced the electric load by over 2 million kWh annually with an expected 2-year payback, achieving a 40% energy use reduction and over $150,000 in annual cost savings.
Built in 1916, Brewster Apartments was able to improve its energy performance by 26% with building envelope upgrades and air source heat pumps. The retrofits were funded with incentives from Seattle City Light.
Hannaford utilized support from Efficiency Vermont's Deep Energy Retrofit program to achieve a 56% reduction in energy use in two years through a combination of operational, behavioral, and equipment upgrades. These upgrades resulted in $135,000 in annual cost savings.
Xerox plant personnel reduced unoccupied base load by making an unused air handling unit serve as a dry cooler during winter months. These changes resulted in 15% energy savings and $10,000 in annual cost savings. With a utility rebate equaling the total project cost of roughly $30,000, the project had an immediate simple payback.
Multiple Better Buildings partners – including Hannaford, Food Lion, Giant Eagle, and Whole Foods Market – are implementing sustainable operating practices through participation in the Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) program. GSC helps participants identify and implement low-cost energy, water, and waste reduction measures through continuous improvement and employee engagement.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020: 3 - 4 p.m. ET Finance + Resilience Initiative Part 1: Building the Financial Business Case for Resilience
Part 1 of this mini-series will highlight how commercial building owners can build the financial business case for resilience within an organization, best practices for measuring financial risk at the asset and portfolio level, and strategies for managing insurance cost and business risk.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020: 3 - 4 p.m. ET Finance + Resilience Initiative Part 2: Taking Action to Improve Resilience and Disclose Performance
Part 2 of this mini-series will focus on different mechanisms for financing resilience projects, various reporting frameworks for disclosing resilience performance, and pulling everything together into a resilience risk management plan.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020: 1 - 2 p.m. ET Addressing the Envelope: Recognizing Building Enclosure Improvements
Join this webinar with the Envelope Technology Research Team to learn about the design and roll-out of the new Better Buildings recognition campaign for achievements in adopting high-performance building envelope technologies.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET Better Benchmarking for Lab Buildings
Attendees will receive a demonstration of the Laboratory Benchmarking Tool, funded by DOE and developed in collaboration with Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator partners. The demo will focus on the new features and how to use them to further your organization’s sustainability goals.
Thursday, February 27, 2020: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET Heat Pump Water Heaters – What You Need to Know Right Now
Heat pump water heaters can be several times more efficient than conventional models, but what do you need to know before introducing them into your program or installing one? Join this peer exchange call for an overview of this technology and guidance on how to apply it in the field.
Thursday, March 26, 2020: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET How Bad Installation Can Negate Good Equipment
Residential energy efficiency technology continues to improve, but are we realizing its full potential? Learn about the critical importance of quality installation practices, and how you can apply them in your work.
February 25, 2020 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Rural Energy Conference
ACEEE’s Rural Energy Conference is focused on exploring how energy efficiency and clean energy increase rural prosperity by spurring economic growth and energy affordability. Topics will include resilience, renewable and distributed energy resources, program design and financing, and economic development.
This national event is designed for the full range of players involved in making green schools a reality: people who lead, operate, build, and teach in U.S. schools. Attendees will work together to advance progress in the areas of environmental impact, health impact, and environmental and sustainability literacy.
This annual conference for retail facilities maintenance professionals is one of the largest multi-site retail-focused events in the country. It combines education sessions, networking, and an expo with over 300 exhibitors and features dedicated tracks for sustainability initiatives.
April 21 - 22, 2020 Association of Energy Engineer's (AEE) East Energy Conference & Expo
AEE’s annual education and networking event in the northeast U.S. brings together energy professionals from commercial, industrial, institutional, and governmental sectors to learn about the latest energy-saving strategies, products, services, and technologies.
Legrand conducted its third Energy Marathon, a company-wide initiative to reduce energy usage and increase efficiency; 26 Legrand sites across the U.S. were challenged with finding new and creative solutions to save energy and demonstrate the impact of employee engagement. As a result of these marathons, Legrand has saved over 1.3 million kWh and $126,000 in energy costs.
Recent news articles featuring Better Buildings partners are listed below.
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.
This updated video course from DOE and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) showcases how leading property owners incorporate energy efficiency and broader sustainability elements into their operations and investment decisions.
The March 31, 2020 deadline for the 2020 Green Lease Leaders application period is fast approaching! Now in its seventh year, Green Lease Leaders recognizes landlords, tenants, and real estate teams in the commercial office, retail, and industrial sectors for their efforts to break down barriers to higher-performing buildings by addressing energy and water use through smart lease clauses and corporate guidelines that enable action.
Apply now for the Landlord, Tenant, or Team Transaction categories.
Contact IMT and DOE for one-on-one guidance on earning recognition or information on greening your lease.
In case you missed it: Better Buildings Webinars on Demand
Explore more on-demand Better Buildings webinars here.
Learn about tools from the National Labs for assessing potential facility-level energy technology investments and how to use those assessments to incorporate distributed energy technologies that optimize your facilities’ energy needs.
The Plug and Process Load Technology Research Team hosted two technical presentations from recently published studies that describe novel approaches for better understanding device-level energy consumption in buildings.
The Better Practice and Better Project Awards were created to recognize accomplishments in industrial energy efficiency. Award recipients range from diverse manufacturing sectors to utilities. This webinar showcased some of the 2019 applicants and awardees for their innovative, industry-leading energy management work.
DOE recently launched the Advanced Building Construction initiative to address several long-standing challenges keeping new and existing buildings from unlocking their full potential to reduce energy. This blog series highlights topics including opportunities to improve new construction, off-site/prefabricated components, and workforce needs.
DOE worked with the Florida Solar Energy Center to provide energy efficiency content for the recently published Keep Safe: A Guide to Resilient Housing Design and Construction in Island Communities. This resource provides information on resilient housing design and construction for renters, homeowners, designers, and contractors.