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. To view the Bulletin online, click here.

In This Issue

Latest News and Announcements

Presentations from the 2018 Energy Exchange and Better Buildings Summit are Online Now!

Visit the Better Buildings Solution Center to view presentations from this year’s Summit in Cleveland, Ohio. Presentations can be sorted by sector, partner, or topic – view the full list here.

Goal Achievers Recognized at the 2018 Energy Exchange and Better Buildings Summit

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized 19 Better Buildings Challenge partners who achieved their energy productivity goals for 2018 and 26 partners who have set new Challenge goals after meeting their initial goals. Since the start of this voluntary program, Better Buildings Challenge partners together have saved $3.1 billion in energy costs and 380 trillion Btus of energy.

Since the start of the program, more than 65 partners and financial allies have met their energy efficiency, water efficiency, and/or financing goals ahead of schedule. Many of these goal achievers have publicly committed to new Challenge goals, demonstrating that continual energy efficiency improvement is possible even after sizable gains have already been made.

Interior Lighting Campaign Partners Recognized

DOE’s Better Buildings Interior Lighting Campaign recognized 15 organizations for leading the way in upgrading their interior lighting and control systems. These partners, along with those recognized in the last two years, have newly installed or upgraded more than 2.8 million lighting fixtures and controls systems – cutting energy use on average by 54% and saving $68 million on energy bills.

Sabey Data Center in Quincy, Washington Profiled

DOE recognized Sabey Data Centers for the energy productivity achievements of its Intergate Quincy multi-tenant data center. As a partner in DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, Sabey committed to improving its energy performance by 20% over a 10-year period, and to sharing the results and strategies with other companies. The company surpassed its original goal of 20% by 2024, improving energy performance across its more than 3 million square feet of data center space by 24% from a 2014 baseline.

Monthly Top 10 Solutions

The latest Top 10 most-viewed solutions include the Better Buildings Financing Navigator 2.0, tips on how to become a Home Energy Score Certified Assessor™, solutions from the city of Boston and Bullitt County School District, a toolkit on energy data benchmarking, and more. Make sure to check out past Top 10s!

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Welcome New Partners!

Better Buildings Challenge

  • Boston Housing Authority, 10.4 million sf
  • Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority
  • Highland Commercial Properties, 1.1 million sf
  • Lever Energy Capital, $500 million

Better Plants Challenge

  • Cardington Yutaka, 1 plant

Better Plants

  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • Imerys Carbonates North America
  • Leggett & Platt
  • PPC Broadband
  • Sheboygan Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility

Better Buildings Residential Network

  • Bay Area Regional Energy Network
  • BuildCoach
  • Ecotagious
  • El Paso Electric
  • EnergyWorks
  • Home Performance Coalition
  • Pivotal Energy Solutions
  • Yellow Brick Properties

Better Buildings Alliance

  • Regions Bank

Better Buildings Accelerators

Building Energy Data Analysis

  • District of Columbia
  • Telecommunication Industry Association
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Packaged Combined Heat and Power

  • 2G Energy Inc.
  • Aegis Energy Services
  • Baltimore Gas & Electric
  • Capstone Turbine Corporation
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Centrica Business Solutions
  • GE Distributed Power
  • GEM Energy LLC
  • Kraft Power Corporation
  • Martin Energy Group
  • Maryland Energy Administration
  • Missouri Division of Energy
  • National Grid
  • Northeast-Western Energy Systems
  • One Gas
  • Peoples Natural Gas
  • Sterling & Wilson Cogen Solutions LLC
  • Stewart and Stevenson Power Product LLC, Atlantic Division

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.

New Implementation Models

Creating a Pipeline of Green Jobs in a PHA: Youth Leadership and Workforce Development

Rockford Housing Authority developed a program, modeled on SEED (STEM, Energy, and Economic Development), to create a culture of energy efficiency through different types of resident programming. As a result, residents consume less energy and are better prepared for STEM-related careers.

Engaging On-Site Staff in Energy Benchmarking

Community managers were disengaged from Trinity Management’s effort to reduce portfolio-wide energy consumption due to day-to-day property management responsibilities. Trinity hired a third-party benchmarking provider and trained property managers to monitor energy consumption at their sites.

New Showcase Projects

799 Market Street

Jamestown executed a modest capital improvement plan at 799 Market Street which included improvements to increase energy and water efficiency in the building and upgrades to common areas to increase the building’s appeal to technology sector tenants. The project realized 26% in energy savings and $62,000 in annual cost savings.

Alexander Residence

Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation in San Francisco took advantage of three local rebate programs to implement an extensive energy efficiency scope at Alexander Residence, which covered 98% of the retrofit costs.

ArcelorMittal Cleveland – 50001 Ready Facility

ArcelorMittal’s steelmaking plant in Cleveland, Ohio reaps diverse benefits from instituting the 50001 Ready energy management system.

Bayview Towers

A comprehensive boiler upgrade to this 200-unit affordable apartment complex is expected to yield 25% energy savings for the NHP Foundation.

Court Tower Apartments

Jonathan Rose Companies implemented a boiler upgrade, variable frequency drives, an LED lighting retrofit, low-flow plumbing fixtures and new toilets, ENERGY STAR® appliances, and replaced thru-wall AC sleeves. The result was 30% energy savings.

Julia Martin House

Through Massachusetts’ Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN), Jamaica Plains Neighborhood Development Corporation and Peabody Properties secured funding for energy- and water-efficient upgrades, all of which have produced savings at the property.

Penn State Computer Building

Located on the main campus of Penn State University, the Computer Building is a 2-story computer facility and data center. It was selected for energy upgrades due to the known potential savings within the facility. The project resulted in 20% energy savings, amounting to $214,000 per year.

Public Safety Building Retro-Commissioning

Salt Lake City completed a new headquarters for police, fire, and emergency services designed to achieve net zero energy use through building efficiency features and solar panels as well as an offsite, 1-MW solar farm. When the building did not function as designed, the City applied Fault Detection and Diagnostics software to discover several operating inefficiencies and conducted a full retro-commissioning.

St. Peter Manor

St. Peter Manor, originally an orphanage built in the 1800s in Memphis, is a 10-story retirement community with 283 apartments undergoing a renovation that will yield 40% energy savings for Wesley Housing.

New Solutions at a Glance

The ESPC Virtual Technical Assistant

The State of Montana created a virtual tool to support state and local practitioners of energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) in the face of limited budget and staff. The resource is available as an online interactive guide and in a customizable template.

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Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Webinars, Industry Events

Better Buildings Webinars

September 27, 2018: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Back to School: Building Science Training

On this Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange, technical experts will address the fundamentals of building science and provide an overview of best practices.

Register here

October 11, 2018: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Resiliency in the Face of Disaster: Energy Efficiency’s Role

Learn about the relationship between energy efficiency and resilience in this Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call.

Register here

October 16, 2018: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Benchmarking Water: New Approaches and Opportunities for Buildings

Partners share the innovative water metering strategies and analytical methods that allow them to draw greater insights from their data.

Register here

November 6, 2018: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Bright Idea: Lighting Toolkit for K-12 School Districts

Review comprehensive lighting guidance for K-12 schools along with an overview of the newest lighting technologies and strategies for classroom optimization and proficiency.

Register here

December 4, 2018: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Technology Research Team Showcase!

Hear from leaders at the National Laboratories working to advance technologies related to space conditioning, lighting, plug loads, building envelope, and energy management information systems.

Register here

January 8, 2019: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Better Buildings Workforce Development & You

Learn about the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines and how they impact you and hear creative solutions partners are implementing to increase the value of the buildings workforce.

Register here

February 5, 2019: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Lessons from the Field: Real World Applications that Inform R&D

Better Plants partners and representatives of the R&D community will discuss how they have informed research into new energy-related technologies, materials, and best practices.

Register here

March 5, 2019: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Better Buildings, Better Bodies: Strategies for Health & Wellness

Meet Better Buildings partners who are implementing design strategies in their buildings and sustainability plans focusing on the wellness, health, and productivity of the people inside them.

Register here

April 2, 2019: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Rethinking Traditional Finance: How Efficiency-as-a-Service Unlocks New Potential for Business

This webinar will highlight a new efficiency-as-a-service toolkit and Better Buildings Financial Allies will share insights from the field.

Register here

Tech Team Calls and Technology Webinars

September 20, 2018: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
Bi-Annual Plug and Process Load Tech Team Call

Experts from NREL will discuss the implications of navigating cybersecurity with smart outlets and the Plug and Process Load team will provide updates on their activities.

Register here

September 25, 2018: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
DLC/U.S. DOE Networked Lighting Controls Case Studies: Final Report

The DesignLights Consortium hosts DOE experts as they provide field assessment results from an evaluation of five advanced control lighting systems in five buildings. Results provide data and information that can help energy managers at commercial facilities determine the effectiveness of advanced control lighting system retrofits.

Register here

September 26, 2018: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
Field Test Results of New HVAC Technologies

Join the Better Buildings Space Conditioning Technology Research Team to learn about field test results of several new high-performance HVAC technologies like circulator pumps, air scrubbers, and chilled water pump motors.

Register here

October 30, 2018: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
Analytics in Commercial Buildings: Second Year Outcomes on Costs, Savings, and Industry Trends from the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign

The Campaign's second year of operation has seen a significant increase in data on how participants are using their energy management and information systems (EMIS), new cost information, and which technologies are seeing increased uptake. Learn about the trends for the continued implementation of EMIS in commercial buildings.

Register here

Industry Events and Conferences

September 26-29, 2018
IREM Global Summit

The IREM Global Summit is a networking and education conference for commercial and multifamily property and asset managers at multiple career levels, hosted by the Institute of Real Estate Management. The event features sessions on energy management and the financial value of green certifications.

Register here

September 29 – October 3, 2018
WEFTEC: The Water Environment Federation Annual Conference

WEFTEC is the world’s largest annual water quality technical conference and exhibition, providing extensive educational opportunities and access to the field’s most cutting-edge technologies and services. Thousands of water and wastewater professionals attend WEFTEC to learn, network, find out about new products and services, and earn continuing education credits.

Register here

October 2-5, 2018
AASHE Conference and Expo

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) focuses its annual conference on effective models, policies, research, collaborations, and transformative actions that advance sustainability in both higher ed and surrounding communities. This year’s theme is “Global Goals: Rising to the Challenge.”

Register here

October 14-17, 2018
I2SL Annual Conference

Hosted by the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL), this event features workshops, technical presentations, symposia, roundtable discussions, exhibits, and local tours highlighting the latest in sustainable laboratory, data center, hospital, and related high-tech facility innovations.

Register here

October 17-19, 2018
World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC)

WEEC is the largest energy conference and technology expo in the U.S. specifically for business, industrial, and institutional energy users. Experts in all areas of the field will attend to share and exchange ideas on energy efficiency, facility optimization, and sustainability.

Register here

November 14-16, 2018
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

The U.S. Green Building Council’s annual conference and tradeshow goes to Chicago with a program of workshops, tours, education sessions, and special events for nearly 25,000 expected attendees. The theme for Greenbuild 2018 is “Human by Nature” and explores the intersection of humanity and the built environment.

Register here

November 14-16, 2018
NMHC OPTECH Conference and Exposition

OPTECH is the National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) annual conference and trade show focused on operations and technology. Apartment executives and technology partners will discuss emerging trends in property operations, marketing, technology, sustainability, and communications.

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!

Energizing Facilities with Energy Efficiency

A panel of Better Buildings Challenge K-12 school partners spoke to over 40 attendees at the APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities annual conference. Presenting on the topic of how energy efficiency fits into the modernization of facilities, the panel featured representatives from Alexandria City Public Schools (Virginia), Fairfax County Public Schools (Virginia), and Anne Arundel County Public Schools (Maryland).

Better Buildings at CleanMed 2018: Collaboration Gives Power to Greater Energy Efficiency

Better Buildings Challenge partners Hackensack Meridian-Health and UW Health joined the Better Buildings Healthcare Subject Matter Expert to present on strategic collaborative partnerships influencing greater energy efficiency.

Utility Incentives for Commercial Building Plug Load Efficiency

The Better Buildings Alliance Plug and Process Load Technical Research Team has released an update of its database of utility incentives and rebates for plug load efficiency. This database includes a list of financial and other incentives offered by state and sponsor.

Celebrating Five Years, DOE and IMT Announce 2018 Green Lease Leaders

The Better Buildings Alliance and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) announced the 2018 Green Lease Leaders at the BOMA International Conference and Expo. This year’s Green Lease Leaders represent over 717 million square feet of commercial, retail, and industrial space; after five years, the cumulative floor area these leaders represent is over 1.8 billion square feet.

Introducing the Better Buildings Financing Navigator 2.0

The Better Buildings Financing Navigator is an online tool that helps public and private sector organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. DOE released Version 2.0, which features a fresh design, updated market data and insights, and new content on renewable energy financing options.

Volvo Group Heads to ORNL for Energy Network North America

Earlier this year, Better Plants partner Volvo Group North America held its energy meeting at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), bringing energy management staff from eight manufacturing facilities and six Prevost service centers. ORNL staff scientists introduced the Volvo staff to different programs and reviewed their energy performance reporting activities, as well as leading a tour of the Lab!

The Beat Blog is updated throughout the week.

Partners in the News

Recent news articles featuring Better Buildings partners are listed below. Partners have been recognized by Commercial Property Executive, Retrofit Magazine, CleanTechnica, and more.

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

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Better Information

Better Buildings Accelerators

Toolkit: Bringing Home Energy Information to Real Estate

A product of the Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator, this document helps readers interested in improving access to home energy information navigate the many resources, lessons learned, and best practices developed through the Accelerator.

Archived Webinars

ESPC Webinar Series

This 5-part collection of webinars introduces and explores the Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit, a product of the Better Buildings ESPC Accelerator. The toolkit includes best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used to establish and implement performance contracting.

Better Buildings Alliance

Financial Literacy for Retail Curriculum

Better Buildings Alliance affiliate RILA is offering free training modules focused on Financial Literacy for Retail. There are 2 courses: Finance 101 and Finance 201. Developed with support from Better Buildings and DOE, these e-learnings will help those in the retail sector who want to know more about financing and value as they relate to sustainability.

Better Buildings Residential Network

Archived Peer Exchange Calls

Review past peer exchange calls from the Better Buildings Residential Network. Topics from the summer include:

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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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