February Top 10 Solutions

The 10 most-viewed resources from the past month feature replicable solutions from Wendy’s, West Palm Beach, REI, and Stevens Institute for Technology along with toolkits, webinars, and more. Check them out!

1. Prioritizing Laboratories to Meet Your Energy Goal (Webinar) 

A typical laboratory is 3-4 times more energy intensive than your average commercial buildings and can comprise up to 70% of a campus’ energy footprint. If every laboratory building improved its energy efficiency by 20%, the U.S. could save $1 billion per year. The Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator is helping partners identify the best technologies and energy management strategies to optimize lab performance. This webinar introduces the first steps for incorporating a Smart Labs methodology into a campus or building energy management plan and provides strategies for prioritizing laboratory efficiency to help meet your energy goals. Read more.

2. How to Implement Green Revolving Funds 

This collection of solutions provides cross-sector guidance on establishing a green revolving fund to overcome a lack of dedicated capital. A green revolving fund is an internal capital pool dedicated to funding energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects that generate cost savings. A portion of those savings are then used to replenish the fund, establishing an ongoing funding vehicle to help drive energy efficiency and sustainability investment over time. Read more. 

3. Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit 

This collection of resources enables state and local communities to benefit from the experience of partners who have successfully established and implemented performance contracting. It includes best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used. Users can easily find the information they need at each stage of their ESPC decision-making process. Read more. 

4. High-Efficiency RTU Replacement Toolkit 

This toolkit helps HVAC contractors and service companies work with their customers through a step-by-step method of evaluating and managing their inventory of rooftop units (RTUs) and how to evaluate the business case for high-efficiency replacements. From an incentives database to a comparison calculator, the toolkit provides everything needed to make an informed decision regarding RTU replacements. Read more. 

5. Babbio Center at Stevens Institute of Technology 

The Babbio Center at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey has undergone energy efficiency improvements to help maintain comfort for classroom, office, and conference space occupants. Upgrades include the replacement of the facility’s absorption chiller with a new gas engine chiller, condensing boiler upgrades, and the implementation of variable speed pumping. These energy-efficient improvements help to regulate temperature control, thus increasing occupant comfort while also expected to reduce energy use by 20% and save $52,000 per year. Read more. 

6. Upgrade Your Parking to High-Efficiency Lighting Solutions 

High-performance energy efficiency lighting systems can last 2-to-5 times longer than traditional outdoor lights and pay for themselves quickly by cutting energy costs up to 70% and maintenance costs up to 90%. This toolkit provides case studies, specifications, solutions, and more – bringing together the key resources you need to upgrade your parking lot lighting systems. Read more. 

7. REI Net Zero Energy Distribution Center 

REI’s LEED® Platinum distribution center in Goodyear, Arizona, opened in 2016, was designed as a zero-energy facility. The company implemented renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water efficiency solutions including the installation of a 2.2 MW solar system and a non-evaporative cooling system. REI expects the facility to reap 30% annual energy savings, and for the project to pay for itself within five years. Read more. 

8. The Business Case for High-Performance Buildings (Video) 

See how leading commercial real estate property owners incorporate energy efficiency and broader sustainability into their operational and investment decisions. This video explains how once-niche green concepts are evolving into high-performance standards across office, retail, and industrial buildings. Read more. 

9. West Palm Beach Street Light Upgrade Project 

Street lights represented 25% of West Palm Beach, Florida’s energy expenditure, so the City partnered with a local utility to retrofit 5,352 city-owned street lights and 1,451 utility-owned street lights. The upgraded LED and induction lights have helped maximize energy efficiency and operational performance, achieving 54% annual energy savings and $160,000 in annual cost savings. Read more. 

10. Wendy's Smart Family of Designs - NEW 

As part of Wendy’s company-led effort to provide franchisees with resources to support their energy reduction goals, the “Smart Family of Designs” tool offers a portfolio of development options, including buildings that fit into smaller footprints. Wendy’s has continued to improve the tool since its launch, introducing the “Smart 2.0 Design,” which boasts an even smaller footprint and more features that promote energy efficiency. Read more.