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. To view the Bulletin online, click here.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Bullitt County Public Schools (BCPS) for the energy productivity advances made in its Mt. Washington Elementary School. Located in Shepherdsville, Kentucky and serving more than 13,000 students, the school district committed to improving its energy performance by 20% over a 10-year period across its 2 million-square-foot portfolio. The school district is well on its way to achieving this goal and has already reduced energy by 18% from a 2013 baseline. Director of DOE's Better Buildings Challenge Maria Vargas visited Mt. Washington Elementary School, the district’s Better Buildings Showcase Project, to congratulate the school on its significant energy savings achieved.
DOE announced that Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have reported a savings of more than $5 billion in cumulative energy costs. DOE also recognized 12 new program partners, as well as 10 partners that achieved their energy or water savings goal this year, bringing the total number of goal achievers to 53.
Read the full 2018 Better Plants Annual Update to learn about how more than 200 Better Plants partners are reducing energy costs that increase productivity, create jobs, and strengthen manufacturing competitiveness.
DOE has launched the Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) prize, a competition designed to identify and attract attention to a wide range of ideas and practices that are driving measurable energy savings at U.S. manufacturing plants to stimulate innovation at other facilities. The ITEAM Prize is a means to find individuals who were responsible for creative, specific, and innovative ideas and practices that led to significant, measurable energy savings at their manufacturing facilities, and encourage those individuals to share their ideas and practices for the benefit of U.S. manufacturing facilities nationwide.
DOE is dedicating up to $75,000 for these awards and will select up to five winners in each category of small, medium, and large manufacturers, for a total of up to 15 winners.
Our 10 most-viewed solutions from the past month deliver valuable insights into workforce development, energy efficiency financing, outdoor lighting, staff engagement, water benchmarking, and more. Make sure to check out past Top 10s.
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co.
Renew Energy Partners – $40 million
Washington REIT – 8 million sf
Better Buildings Accelerators
Packaged Combined Heat and Power
Commonwealth Edison (ComEd)
MacAllister Power Systems
Philadelphia Gas Works
PSEG Long Island
Colorado School of Mines
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.
H&M determined that closing exterior doors resulted in approximately $10,000 in energy cost savings per year per store with no discernible impact on foot traffic, leading to the establishment of a company closed-door policy.
Previously, City of Grand Rapids Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) employees had to physically staff operating stands, with little to no connection between plant or process information and the controls. To further improve efficiency, WRRF enabled real-time, plant-wide process controls for $40,000 in savings.
The energy team at Neenah Inc.’s paper mill in Whiting, Wisconsin learned about 50001 Ready after joining Wisconsin’s utility-funded energy efficiency and renewable resource program. The mill’s manager and employees recognized 50001 Ready as a beneficial way to elevate the facility’s ongoing efforts to streamline daily operations, reduce the mill’s energy footprint, and take advantage of utility incentives to save energy.
Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation implemented energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades, including community solar, over several years resulting in 19% energy savings and $105,000 in cost savings.
Seattle’s Pacific Tower – leased by the Washington Department of Commerce – was upgraded with luminaire-level lighting controls with integrated occupancy sensors. The project has delivered significant energy savings, with energy performance exceeding Seattle’s already progressive building energy code by 27%.
Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Webinars, Industry Events
Better Buildings Webinars
November 29, 2018: 2 - 3 p.m. ET How to Become a Green Lease Leader: The Latest in High-Performance Leasing Practices and Recognition
Better Buildings and the Institute for Market Transformation have released a series of case studies profiling some of the 2018 Green Lease Leaders for their innovative efforts to drive efficiency, clean energy, health & wellness, and smart landlord-tenant engagement strategies in their properties. This webinar highlights these success stories and features advice on how to start greening your lease, as well as how to apply to be a Green Lease Leader in 2019.
December 13, 2018: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET
Better Buildings Residential Network: All I Want for the Holidays Is...
On this Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call, join a festive discussion of what the residential energy efficiency community would like the future to bring, be it new tools, devices, or processes.
January 8, 2019: 3 - 4 p.m. ET Prioritizing Labs to Meet Your Energy Goal
Using lessons learned and experts in the field, this webinar will set up your site for creating a Smart Labs Program. Prioritizing energy efficiency in labs can help organizations quickly meet their energy savings goals.
January 17, 2019: 12 - 1:30 p.m. ET
Alternative Water Treatments for Cooling Towers
Researchers from NREL assessed the effectiveness of five off-the-shelf alternative water treatment (AWT) technologies and found that four of them maintained adequate water quality, reduced blowdown, and saved an average of 26% water. These four had a positive return on investment with a payback under four years. During the webinar, researchers and facility managers will discuss findings from the evaluation, share operational guidance, and answer questions. This webinar is part of the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Proving Ground Outbrief webinar series.
Atlanta celebrated its 2018 top performers in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC), which included private building owners, public buildings, and other community organizations. In addition to producing the highest levels of energy and water savings for the previous year, these organizations are also advocates for the ABBC and its mission. Since its inception in 2011, the ABBC has grown from 28 to 650 buildings, increasing by 90 million square feet.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has shared its innovative approach to creating a comprehensive sustainability plan and continues to demonstrate the value of community partnerships. NYCHA’s latest achievement comes in the form of community solar infrastructure, further uniting NYCHA and the community it serves and opening the door for small businesses to take part in greater sustainability benefits.
Both Sierra Magazine and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) are recognizing Better Buildings Higher Education partners for their sustainability performance. The Sierra Magazine “Cool Schools” ranking featured University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) in the top spot, as well as Arizona State University and Cornell University. UC Irvine also appeared at the top of AASHE’s Sustainable Campus Index, along with Stanford University.
The Better Buildings Alliance’s Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) recognized 15 organizations for leading the way in lighting upgrades, with a combined self-reported $33 million in energy cost savings by upgrading nearly 1.4 million lighting systems to high-efficiency systems.
This conference paper introduces zero energy districts (ZEDs), reviews the structure of the Zero Energy District Accelerator, discusses the value of energy master planning, presents barriers to ZEDs and how these are being addressed by ZED pioneers, and suggests pathways for wide-scale replication.
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) hosted a webinar where lenders shared their perspectives on the DOE Building Technologies Office’s research findings linking energy efficiency and commercial mortgage default. Both lenders noted that while energy efficiency is not typically a consideration in mortgage underwriting, these recent research findings suggest that they should be. When asked how these findings could be incorporated into the lending process, the lenders indicated they would consider options such as interest rate discounts for energy-efficient buildings and additional mortgage loan proceeds to improve energy efficiency. This research project was conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business. Note: you must register via the link to access the webinar recording.
Six communities in different parts of the country with populations between 5,000 and 250,000 are profiled in a new fact sheet for innovative and replicable energy efficiency program ideas: Arlington, Virginia; Bellingham, Washington; Chula Vista, California; Madison, Wisconsin; Takoma Park, Maryland; and Walla Walla, Washington.
Archived Peer Exchange Calls
Review past peer exchange calls from the Better Buildings Residential Network. Topics include: