The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have cumulatively saved $6.7 billion in energy costs and more than 1.3 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs). More than 220 organizations now partner with DOE through Better Plants; 44 of these companies have stepped up to the Better Plants Challenge. Across the program and Challenge, partners have more than 3,200 facilities and represent roughly 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. Read more about Better Plants partner accomplishments in the 2019 Better Plants Progress Update.
The following Implementation Models and Showcase Projects demonstrate the hard work and innovative thinking of Better Buildings partners. Check out these replicable solutions and others in the Better Buildings Solution Center.
Jamestown, a national real estate investment and management company, partnered with DOE’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign to develop a checklist that maximizes the effectiveness of their advanced energy management information systems (EMIS). The checklist streamlines the set-up and review processes in the EMIS platform, successfully empowering building engineers and operators to more proactively manage energy use.
University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) partnered with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) to host an energy efficiency Treasure Hunt at the UMMC campus, with a goal of identifying potential energy savings and process improvements. After two days at the facility, participants identified a total of $2.1 million in energy saving opportunities.
Wishrock Investment Group leveraged the EZ Retrofit Tool and Better Buildings technical assistance to assess the energy and water savings potential of five multifamily properties in Mississippi, where they lacked access to qualified building performance assessment professionals. Wishrock was able to create energy models, a state-wide efficiency plan, and energy performance contracts for each property.
Metlife Investment Management’s District Center is a first-of-its-kind “smart” commercial office building offering multiple smart tenant solutions, including apps for tenant-level control of lighting, HVAC, and other systems. Metlife also incorporated other energy-efficient features to achieve LEED Gold EB certification. Together, these features have resulted in 33% energy savings and a 31% annual cost savings.
Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, requires an energy-efficient cooling system that can match its 13 megawatts of energy consumption; the data center team at Oak Ridge National Lab installed an innovative warm-water cooling system that reduced energy consumption by 25%.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019: 3 - 4 p.m. ET Rethinking Leasing: Spotlight on the 2019 Green Lease Leaders
The Green Lease Leaders program shines a spotlight on innovative landlord and tenant companies that add energy efficiency and sustainability clauses to their leases. This webinar will recognize the 2019 Green Lease Leaders who are pushing the envelope on building performance and energy-aligned leasing.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019: 3 - 4 p.m. ET How Buildings of All Shapes and Sizes are Achieving Zero Energy
From affordable student housing to high-infill offices, a rapidly accelerating building trend is the proliferation of zero energy buildings. This webinar will explore the financial, technological, and design process innovations that make these projects a reality.
Thursday, October 24, 2019: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET Health and Energy Efficiency are Trending: Learn What's Happening
Learn how the nexus of health and energy efficiency is spurring innovation. Join this Better Buildings Residential Network call to explore topics including indoor air quality, technology and engagement best practices, and a new tool: the Energy Plus Health Playbook.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019: 2 - 3 p.m. ET Smart Energy Analytics Campaign: Synthesis of Year 3 Outcomes
The Smart Energy Analytics Campaign's third year of operation has seen a significant increase in the data on how participants are using their Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS). Join this webinar to learn about new cost information, which technologies are seeing increased uptake, and trends for the continued implementation of EMIS in commercial buildings.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019: 2 - 3 p.m. ET Plug and Process Load Technical Research Team Call
The Plug and Process Load (PPL) Technical Research Team will provide updates on the latest PPL research efforts following technical presentations on a recent study on zero-client computing, and Set Top Boxes and small network equipment voluntary agreements.
Thursday, November 14, 2019: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET Window Treatments: An Undervalued, Highly-Efficient Energy Efficiency Measure
Up to 30% of a home's heating energy is lost through windows, especially in older homes, but many people are unaware that most types of window treatments will result in energy savings. Join the Better Buildings Residential Network to learn how windows can have an outsized impact on energy use.
Thursday, December 12, 2019: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET Electrification: What Does It Mean for Energy Efficiency?
With utilities and homeowners increasingly interested in electric space and water heating, how might this impact the future of energy efficiency? A panel of experts will share their thoughts on this trending development during this Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call.
October 20 - 23, 2019 International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) Annual Conference & Technology Fair
The I2SL Annual Conference is focused on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in laboratories and related facilities. Topic areas for 2019 include benchmarking, waste diversion, resilience, and continuous improvement.
November 17 - 20, 2019 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change (BECC) 2019 Conference
The BECC Conference is focused on understanding human behavior and decision-making and using that knowledge to accelerate the adoption of low-carbon technologies and practices to benefit the economy, security, and the environment.
November 19 - 22, 2019 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo
Greenbuild is the largest annual event for green building professionals worldwide. The 2019 theme is “A New Living Standard.” Sessions will range from design and construction to the latest in operations, engagement, and green leasing. There are several workshops and summits within the event, as well as a large trade show.
Upon joining the Better Buildings Alliance, Mayo Clinic committed to improving the energy productivity of its Rochester, Minnesota campus by 20% by the end of 2020. Mayo Clinic reached this goal two years early by integrating energy efficiency into new construction projects, renovations to existing facilities, and utility and equipment upgrades.
MetLife Investment Management, Kilroy Realty Corporation, and Highwoods Properties join other notable Challenge partners that own, lease, or manage commercial properties in the U.S. Commercial real estate partners represent nearly 15 billion square feet of floor space and commit to sharing energy efficiency strategies and best practices, while working with technical experts to help achieve their energy savings goals..
DOE’s Better Buildings Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) recognized 10 organizations for integrating highly efficient lighting equipment solutions into their portfolios demonstrating typical energy savings of more than 50%. Since 2015, ILC Participants have installed or upgraded more than 3.5 million lighting and controls systems, with an expected savings of over $84 million to building owners.
Recent news articles featuring Better Buildings partners are listed below.
This guidance document includes materials, trainings, and certification courses designed to provide building operators of rural K-12 school facilities with actionable steps to improve their energy efficiency knowledge and create comfortable, cost-saving, and energy-efficient learning environments.
Carbon emissions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy hold increasing prominence in the strategic planning efforts of higher education institutions. To help institutions better understand the scope, features, and approaches covered in these energy plans, Better Buildings conducted a review of 45 such documents developed between 2008 – 2018 to identify common features and best practices.
Better Buildings has created an on-demand repository of our webinars from the past two years. Each webinar is sorted by topic for easy browsing in categories ranging from building envelope to workforce development. Visit the page to watch videos and follow along with slide decks.
The Better Buildings Zero Energy Schools Accelerator and the National Renewable Energy Lab have created an 8-step guide for K-12 stakeholders interested in making their schools zero energy or zero energy ready. This collection of best practices and tested strategies will help school decision-makers through steps ranging from setting measurable zero energy goals to choosing the best procurement process and delivery mechanism.
DOE partnered with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Real Estate Research Institute to catalyze research around the financial performance of high-performing, energy-efficient buildings to help commercial real estate practitioners understand the impacts of and drive investment in energy efficiency. This webpage digests four of the resulting research papers and describes next steps for transforming green building investment practices.
Cooling towers are an effective means of rejecting unwanted heat from cooling systems and improving overall energy performance. However, they consume large quantities of water and require treatment systems to maintain and manage water quality. This resource presents two case studies of new water treatment technologies that provide 20–50% water savings and reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals.
In case you missed it: Better Buildings Webinars on Demand
Speakers presented innovative, outside-the-box strategies for collecting multifamily tenant energy consumption data, ranging from obtaining tenant consent to embarking on a portfolio-wide whole-property data campaign.
The annual DOE Solar Decathlon Design Challenge is a collegiate competition among teams that create residential or commercial building designs that are innovative, cost-effective, quick to build, high quality, resilient, grid-interactive, efficient, and locally responsive. DOE is now accepting applications for the 2020 Decathlon.