Beat Blog

by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 30, 2017
The 2017 Better Buildings Summit brought nearly 1,000 of the nation's leading energy experts to Washington, D.C. May 15-17. Representatives from the Retail, Food Service, and Grocery (RFSG) sector came together in a number of different ways to share knowledge and insights from their store and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 24, 2017
As the first affordable housing multifamily group to reach its Better Buildings Challenge goal, JCHE is setting the stage for other housing groups to become more energy efficient. JCHE leads the way through several projects, including its addition of solar electric and geo-thermal heating and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 18, 2017
At this year's Summit in Washington D.C., over one thousand energy professionals (1,080 to be exact!) came together to tackle what the next big things will be when it comes to saving energy in our nation's homes, buildings, and manufacturing plants. Over the three-day event, attendees had the...
by Stephanie Stuckey, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Atlanta on May 17, 2017
In the United States, the buildings in which we work and live use roughly 40 percent of the energy in the U.S. economy at a cost of over $400 billion, and the City of Atlanta is highly motivated to help curb energy costs as a major U.S. city. By participating in the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 16, 2017
This year the results are in - and they are better than ever. View our infographic for all the updates!  
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 16, 2017
In the past year, the Better Buildings Challenge gained 35 new partners representing the industrial, K-12 schools, financing, multifamily, commercial real estate, university and hospitality sectors. These partners are committed to 20 percent of greater energy improvements across their entire...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on May 08, 2017
Do you ever look at a courthouse and think “energy efficiency?" Probably not. That should change, as one of the trends we at Better Buildings are seeing is the prevalence of courthouse retrofits as a money- and energy-saving solution for local governments. Three local government partners – Placer...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 05, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions in March offered some pretty cool energy-savings opportunies, while April kept the momentum going with some amazing sustainability opportunities. Check out our Top-10 solutions for April: 1.  Better Buildings Challenge SWAP 3 The Better Buildings Challenge SWAP is a DOE...
by Jen Singer, ICF on May 05, 2017
Three Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) K-12 School partners recently participated in a panel at the 2017 Green Schools Conference & Expo in Atlanta, entitled “Follow the Leaders: What Leading K-12 Schools Have Learned When it Comes to Energy,” to share best practices in energy efficiency...
by Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Team on May 02, 2017
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the largest public housing authority in the United States, providing housing to 400,000 New Yorkers in 2,550 buildings. NYCHA is committed to energy efficiency improvements portfolio-wide, but every journey starts with a single step. 344 East 28th...
by Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Team on Apr 27, 2017
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created a new Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Toolkit to support multifamily housing providers as they undertake utility benchmarking at their properties. This resource is intended to demystify the utility benchmarking process for...
by Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Team on Apr 27, 2017
Well over half of the existing multifamily housing stock in the U.S. dates to (and in many cases predates) the Reagan Administration – which means a lot of multifamily owners are looking to upgrade and improve their buildings. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, we are seeing that energy...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Apr 27, 2017
Guests at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel will be able to sleep easier thanks to extensive energy efficiency upgrades behind the scenes. The hotel, located across the street from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, completed a retrofit of outdated facility equipment, including chillers, condenser pumps...
by Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space, City of Boston on Apr 25, 2017
Boston is committed to ensuring our city continues to be a healthy, innovative and thriving place to live and work for decades to come. Ensuring that we use energy and all of our resources as efficiently as possible is critical to our success.  Through its partnership with the Better Buildings...
by Rois Langner (NREL), Sormeh Konjkav (Waypoint Building Group) and Marta Schantz (Waypoint Building Group) on Apr 25, 2017
Over the past three years, the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance Plug and Process Loads (PPL) Technical Solutions Team has tracked utility incentives and rebates for PPL efficiency solutions across the nation. To hit regulatory targets and promote energy efficiency, utilities offer...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Apr 21, 2017
In recognizing the enormous energy and cost savings opportunity across 23,000 commercial and industrial buildings and one million residential units, the City of Chicago launched the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge to help building owners actualize potential savings. The Challenge brings together...
by Maria T. Vargas, Director, Better Buildings Challenge on Apr 20, 2017
Through the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP, DOE has found a new way to highlight energy leaders and make it fun to see how peer to peer sharing – across very different buildings and businesses --can drive even greater energy and cost savings. Launching today is our third SWAP featuring the cities...
by Joan Glickman, DOE on Apr 19, 2017
Home Energy Scoring Tool Updated to Include New Technologies This February, Home Energy Score released the latest version of the Home Energy Scoring Tool - the software that calculates the Score and generates Home Energy Score reports – with new options to input an expanded array of home energy...
by Peter Narbaitz, Better Plants Program and Cynthia L. McAllister, C. F. Martin & Co. on Apr 19, 2017
Strong leadership is all about having the ability to see the long view and the foresight and patience to seize the right opportunity. Family-owned and operated for six generations, Better Plants Challenge Partner C.F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar) has provided value for its customers since 1833...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 10, 2017
Already, over 600 partners, national experts, and speakers are signed up for the 2017 Better Buildings Summit. And with just four weeks to register, we anticipate the largest Summit ever. Download the Summit App or preview the print program online now.  Starting May 15, the Summit offers an...
by Andrew Held, ICF on Apr 06, 2017
Over 190 industrial organizations – representing close to 2,600 industrial facilities nationwide – have joined the Better Plants program. They leverage the program to save money, develop their workforce, and boost their manufacturing competitiveness. Better Plants partners benefit from the...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 06, 2017
The City of San Diego has published a new Implementation Model highlighting their city-wide lighting retrofit project, and the process by which they were able to execute and pay for it. In response to California’s energy crisis in the early 2000s, the City of San Diego created a new department –...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 05, 2017
One of the more unique challenges when performing energy efficiency upgrades in a university setting can be the needs of more specialized facilities on campus – like chemistry and biology buildings. These facilities usually have classrooms and laboratories, and those labs are home to very...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 03, 2017
Our Top-10 Solutions in February rounded out the winter with a bang, and the top solutions in March will have you ready to "spring into" your energy efficiency practices. Check out our Top-10 solutions for March: 1.  Better Buildings Financing Navigator  The U.S. Department of Energy introduced a...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Apr 03, 2017
Checking Out Savings at Arlington County’s Energy Lending Library Better Buildings local government partner Arlington County, Virginia has come up with a new way to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to the masses: an Energy Lending Library! As a public education service of the Arlington...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Mar 31, 2017
How do you save energy when your building operates 24 hours? Better Buildings Challenge partner Columbia Association found the answer through lighting retrofits and cogeneration. Columbia Association retrofitted their most energy-intensive property, the Supreme Sports Club in Columbia, Maryland,...
by Jordan Hibbs, Presidential Management Fellow, DOE on Mar 30, 2017
Efficiency upgrades often start with lighting retrofits, as aging lighting systems can often be a burden to your energy bill. Owning a commercial building can be expensive and even more so when all the day-to-day operational costs are factored in, especially when energy consumption practices are...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 28, 2017
The City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is capturing impressive energy and cost savings from recent renovations to its water filtration plant and its own office building. LADWP is the nation's largest municipally-owned utility, providing water and electric service to...
by Marta Schantz (Waypoint), Michael Deru (NREL) on Mar 28, 2017
Earlier this month on March 12-14th in Orlando FL, Michael Deru and Marta Schantz represented the Advanced RTU Campaign at the SPECS Show: the retail event for store innovation. SPECS brings together leaders from the nation’s top retailers and suppliers to learn, share ideas, develop business...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
Kentucky’s Bullitt County Public School District (BCPS) has experienced a lot of expansion and growth system-wide, adding 600,000 square feet of new space in the last decade alone. Even the older buildings are expanding! For example, Mt. Washington Elementary was originally built in 1974, with 51,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
At the Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center, part of Cleveland Clinic’s network of hospitals and healthcare facilities, the answer to more savings was in low and no-cost improvements. The Twinsburg facility was designed and certified LEED Gold, but after only a year of operation was using...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
Leaders in energy efficiency know that goals are rarely achieved without trying something new. Better Buildings Challenge healthcare partner UW Health recently took advantage of an energy incentive pilot program offered through their local utility, and managed to reduce demand levels for three...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 27, 2017
The 2017 Better Buildings Summit is right around the corner and we want to make sure you have everything you need to register. Check out confirmed speakers, sessions, and special events on the Summit website today. BY THE NUMBERS: 125+ SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS ARE PLANNED ACROSS MULTIPLE SECTORS AND...
by Better Buildings Commercial Real Estate Team on Mar 23, 2017
Leaders in the commercial real estate (CRE) sector have indicated a market need for information about the legality of submetering throughout the country. According to DOE's Energy Efficiency in Separate Tenant Spaces Report, achieving greater levels of tenant energy efficiency is feasible through...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 22, 2017
Better Buildings Initiative partners in pursuit of their energy savings, can sometimes hit a roadblock that stalls progress in meeting their goals. To help overcome these moments of pause, at this year's Better Buildings Summit, national laboratory experts are available to help attendees and...
by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Mar 16, 2017
Increasingly, K-12 schools across the country provide learning opportunities in unexpected places, with new, exciting subject matter such as energy efficiency. For instance our Better Buildings Challenge K-12 partners are implementing innovative, educational energy practices across their campuses...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 15, 2017
The Department of Energy is taking energy efficiency to a new level at the 2017 Better Buildings Summit from May 15 to 17 in Washington, D.C. Featuring energy experts from a variety of backgrounds and sectors, the Summit has a little bit of everything for attendees. And this year we are debuting a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 02, 2017
After releasing our Top-10 Solutions in January, February has brought in a few game-changers to our list of top solutions. February’s Top-10 Solutions are motivating! Check out the latest Top-10: 1.  Better Buildings Financing Navigator  The U.S. Department of Energy introduced a new, web-based...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 09, 2017
Fresh off our Top-10 Solutions in 2016, the first month of 2017 has seen our Solution rankings moving and shaking. January’s Top-10 Solutions kick off the year with a bang. See our latest Top-10 below: 1. Better Buildings Financing Navigator In January, the U.S. Department of Energy introduced a...
by Better Buildings Multifamily Team on Jan 19, 2017
The New Year is off to a strong start with Better Buildings Multifamily partner Corcoran Management being recognized as a leader in energy efficiency by DOE and HUD. In January, Corcoran Management Founder John Corcoran hosted a tour of Canterbury Towers, an apartment community in Worcester,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 18, 2017
Ever wonder what the Better Buildings Summit can do to help you advance your organization's energy, water, or sustainability programs? Watch this 30-second video and see how 900 Summit attendees get energized at our Summit. Register soon to save your spot.
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 18, 2017
When we think of building technologies and energy efficiency, we usually jump to things like lighting, HVAC, and building automation systems. However, the first system of a building that plays a role in its efficiency and performance is the envelope. The building envelope – walls, windows, roofs,...
by John Jameson, ICF on Jan 10, 2017
Local government partners of the Better Buildings Challenge closed out 2016 with a flurry of major energy efficiency measures that will drive significant energy performance improvements and provide models for other city action across the country. Denver On December 19, 2016, the City of Denver...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 09, 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Summit will take place this May 15-17, in Washington, D.C. As one of the premier events for energy and business professionals, the Summit is the forum to engage with peers and explore and share innovative organizational strategies, trends in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 05, 2017
The Better Buildings Challenge added 60 new partners in 2016. We are grateful for their leadership and their commitment to reduce their energy use and share their lessons learned and expertise!
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 05, 2017
This year's Top-10 Solutions are featured below. These are the most-viewed solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center. 1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 04, 2017
Applications are open to submit your organization for the Advanced RTU Campaign's annual recognition efforts! For 2017, the awards will be presented at the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association’s National Conference in Dallas, Texas, on April 19. These awards serve to highlight...
by Marta Schantz, Waypoint Building Group; Sormeh Konjkav Waypoint Building Group; Rois Langner, NREL on Jan 03, 2017
Chances are the commercial building you work in or manage consumes excess energy by drawing power from appliances when not in use. In fact, the General Services Administration estimates that 25% of commercial plug load electricity is lost to these “phantom” loads.  An easy solution to reduce...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Dec 22, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge Partner Chattanooga, Tennessee, announced its first showcase project, the Chattanooga Public Library. In the heart of downtown Chattanooga’s Innovation District, this unique 4-story, 12,000-square-foot space will undergo three phases of energy efficiency revitalization...
by Jonah Steinbuck, U.S. Department of Energy on Dec 22, 2016
On December 19, 2016, the City of Denver passed a landmark ordinance that will drive significant energy performance improvements in the City’s large multi-family and commercial buildings. The ordinance, the Energize Denver program, requires that the energy performance of large multi-family and...

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