Beat Blog

by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 20, 2016
Whether it’s a sprawling transportation hub or medical institute, there are many options for incorporating sustainable design into buildings. On tours of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center (EMTOC) in Maryland during this year's Better...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 18, 2016
PNC Place and The Tower Companies Millennium Building are multi-tenanted buildings in the often variable climate of the Potomac swamps, and have gone beyond a traditional “low-hanging fruit” approach to achieving energy efficiency. For starters, PNC Place, the regional HQ of PNC bank, features a 3...
by Kiran Thirumaran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Jul 11, 2016
Corporate annual energy meetings are a fantastic way to engage employees and disseminate information throughout an organization—they’re a keynote activity in many established company energy programs. The Electrolux Green Spirit Summit is one example, and provides a platform for the corporate...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Jul 07, 2016
Portland Public Schools (PPS) made it easy to fund energy efficiency upgrades without compromising a limited capital budget reserved for emergency needs. The district created a two-pronged approach. It would combine recovery zone economic development bonds for smaller, owner managed projects with...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 06, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out June's Top-10 solutions below.  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 Jul 05, 2016
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center first opened its doors in 2008, marking the completion of a monument that can't be missed across the District's skyline. This May the center welcomed 20 Better Buildings Summit tour participants, taking them behind the scenes of energy upgrades. Tour participants...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 29, 2016
As in years past, the 2016 Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC) served as a one-of-a kind conference that focused on energy in the industrial sector and complemented DOE’s mission of sponsoring various initiatives to build awareness about energy efficiency and clean energy topics. Making...
by Bruce Lung, U.S. Department of Energy on Jun 28, 2016
Tapping the knowledge and ingenuity of employees can yield strong results in the quest to improve energy efficiency. This past May, the first Better Plants Treasure Hunt Exchange event took place at the powertrain plants of Nissan North America in Decherd, Tennessee, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 27, 2016
Through the Better Buildings Alliance's technology and market campaigns, hundreds of private sector companies, and state and local governments, universities, and others, are working with DOE to explore what's next in emerging technology, and pinpointing particular nuances for effective...
by Jay Paidipati, Better Buildings Alliance, Renewables Integration Technology Solutions Team on Jun 23, 2016
The economic and environmental benefits of solar are known to business owners across multiple sectors. Despite the declining cost of solar (with prices dropping 50 percent since 2010) and the technology becoming more popular and accessible (with more applications like multi-faceted roofs,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 20, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Cleveland Clinic has established the largest Green Revolving Fund in the healthcare industry to date. During the Better Buildings Summit in May 2016, Cleveland Clinic announced its $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund to finance and implement sustainability...
by Rois Langner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Jun 15, 2016
How much do you really know about controlling Plug and Process Loads with Advanced Power Strips? Plug and Process Loads (PPLs) account for about one-third of the energy consumed in commercial buildings. That equates to $56 billion a year. A new technology has emerged to help reduce that number by...
by Monica Kanojia on Jun 14, 2016
Driving the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through efficiency projects in the retail sector can be difficult, particularly when many energy managers lack awareness of financing mechanisms available to them to fund their projects. To address this market barrier,...
by Andrew Burr, U.S. Department of Energy on Jun 13, 2016
On May 26, Better Buildings announced an historic partnership with The CoStar Group, one of the largest providers of information to real estate decision makers in the country, to increase the visibility of energy performance data in CoStar’s online property database. CoStar will collect energy...
by Monica Kanjia on Jun 10, 2016
This year’s Better Buildings Summit was filled with the announcement of several exceptional milestones and Partner achievements. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz lauded the initiative’s $1.3 billion in energy cost savings coupled with the avoidance of 10 million tons of harmful carbon emissions...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 06, 2016
While the idea of sustainability managers might not immediately conjure up suspense or allure like Superman or Catwoman, they are heroes in their own right. They are the ones finding new ways to save their communities from climate change, cutting costs to operate their businesses, and spurring new...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 03, 2016
Here’s something that made us sit up a little bit straighter last week: Two of Las Vegas’ largest casinos, MGM Resorts (a Better Buildings Challenge hospitality partner) and Wynn Las Vegas LCC announced that they have issued notice to stop purchasing electricity from their current utility, NV...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 02, 2016
2016 Summit session presentations now available on the Better Buildings Solution Center Over 300 presentations covering 100 unique session topics. Everything from selecting the right high-impact technologies, organizational strategies, finding financing, creating partnerships, and much more....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 01, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out May's Top-10 solutions below.  1. IHG Implementation Model: Green Engage InterContinental Hotels Group created the IHG Green Engage system, a comprehensive online sustainability platform that allows hotels...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 26, 2016
LINC Housing, a Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner has developed, owned or operated quality affordable housing communities for limited income families, seniors and persons with special needs throughout California for more than 30 years. In 2013 the California Energy Commission (CEC)...
by Scott Wood, EDF on May 24, 2016
Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps program and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge share much in common, not the least of which is an active set of partners committed to improving how they use and manage energy. EDF Climate Corps is an innovative fellowship...
by Monica Kanojia on May 19, 2016
Securing funding for energy efficiency projects within the commercial sector is difficult due to the perceived risk by lending institutions. Architects and engineers have advanced energy efficient technologies considerably over the past several years, which often mitigates any risk associated with...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 13, 2016
This year's Summit concluded with two Secretaries delivering remarks on America's energy-efficient future, and the importance of continued growth in the realms of Better Buildings partners' leadership, increased committments to share new solutions with companies and organizations nationwide, and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 11, 2016
It was a banner year for the Better Buildings Challenge, with bigger results, more partners and deeper impacts on our nation’s energy and water use and economy. 160 trillion Btus of energy saved $1.3 billion saved 10 million tons of avoided carbon emissions 2.3 billion gallons of water saved We’ve...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 11, 2016
Yesterday marked “Partner Day” for the Better Buildings Summit, when we recognized partners for their knowledge and insights with Insider Talks, their remarkable accomplishments in energy and water savings and investments, and rich two-way conversations between panelists and session attendees....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on May 10, 2016
The first day of the 2016 Better Buildings Summit was a day full of action that set the Better Buildings crew up for more two full days of energy efficiency peer-exchange. The day started off with tours of both commercial and public buildings. Groups broke out and examined DC buildings up close...
by Andre de Fontaine on May 03, 2016
Manufacturers are increasingly trying to get a better handle on their water use. Cutting water use can reduce costs, mitigate risks, and lessen environmental impacts. As population growth, climate change, and drought put additional pressure on certain watersheds, the business imperative for better...
by Joseph Indvik, JDM Associates on Apr 26, 2016
The efficiency revolution will be impossible without effective financing options. Building on their leadership in solving this challenge, nine Better Buildings Challenge Financial Allies will be speaking at the upcoming 2016 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Finance Forum on May 22-24 in Newport, Rhode...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 26, 2016
The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro will keynote the Better Buildings Summit, Wednesday May 11, and will announce the tremendous impact of Better Buildings partners as they continue to work across the nation to cut back...
by Joan Glickman on Apr 22, 2016
Last week the Home Energy Score team attended the 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference in Austin, Texas. Among the sessions, meetings, and networking, the U.S. Department of Energy team took the opportunity to recognize some of its outstanding partners. Joan Glickman, Home Energy Score...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 11, 2016
How often do professionals from the education, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and tech sectors get together AND talk about energy and climate change? If it’s in the city of Atlanta, the answer is at least once a month. That’s because in 2011 Atlanta was one of the first cities to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 04, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out March's Top-10 solutions below.  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 Cindy Zhu, U.S. Department of Energy on Mar 30, 2016
TIAA, one of the first commercial real estate partners to step up to the Better Buildings Challenge in 2011, has been demonstrating their energy and water efficiency leadership ever since. Most recently, TIAA is sharing three new energy and water solutions, bringing its total solutions to five....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 29, 2016
Just two weeks ago the U.S. Department of Transportation's Secretary Anthony Foxx announced at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW), the seven finalist cities vying for a single award of up to $40 million to help define what it means to be a "Smart City" and become the first city to fully...
by Erin Hiatt, Retail Industry Leaders Association on Mar 23, 2016
By now, most companies understand that investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and “going green” can provide a variety of benefits to overall business operations. However, securing the means to do so can still be quite difficult as time, expertise, and especially budget...
by Julia Hustwit, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Mar 22, 2016
Launched in 2011 with a focus on the industrial and commercial sectors, the Better Buildings Challenge expanded two years ago to include multifamily housing, announcing in December 2013, that over 50 partners (public housing authorities, nonprofit housing providers, and market-rate developers),...
by Mark Johnson, DOE on Mar 21, 2016
The Department of Energy welcomed L'Oréal USA to the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program (Better Plants) and it is a beautiful partnership. As the nation’s largest cosmetics manufacturer, L'Oréal is pledging to cut energy intensity by 25% across its five manufacturing plants in joining the...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Mar 21, 2016
Douglas County School District (DCSD) is the sixth largest district in the State of Nevada serving over 6,000 students across 11 schools. The district implemented a multi-pronged financing approach to implement energy savings measures to address its aging school facilities, increasing utility...
by Michael Deru, NREL on Mar 14, 2016
Commercial office buildings are a great target for efficiency projects due to their structured occupancy schedules and high energy intensity.  Proposals that make a strong fiscal case on paper, however, oftentimes fail to reach execution due to the ‘split incentive’ that exists among the different...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 10, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out February's Top-10 solutions below. 1. King County, WA Implementation Model: Fund to Reduce Energy Use (FRED) Energy and water efficiency projects often compete with other priorities for limited available...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM on Mar 08, 2016
For five years, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) releases its annual Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy. The Regional Roundup provides an update on state progress in energy efficiency policies and programs in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region, as well as trends and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 04, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Shari’s Café and Pies, a 24 hour, full service restaurant chain located in the Pacific Northwest, recently became the first full service restaurant to join the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to a 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2025 across nearly 400...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 29, 2016
Last week, we traveled to Florida where we met with three Better Buildings Challenge partners: the cities of West Palm Beach and Orlando, and commercial real estate developer Parkway Properties. As Maria T. Vargas, director of the Better Buildings Challenge participated in tours of some of the...
by Rich Shandross, Navigant and Cara Bastoni, ICF on Feb 26, 2016
Food service organizations face unique energy benchmarking challenges, particularly as energy use can frequently be more closely correlated to the quantity of food served than to the size of the restaurant. Nevertheless, the basics of benchmarking closely parallel those for other sectors, with a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 24, 2016
As the Better Buildings Challenge has made evident, the energy efficiency community is a unique breed. Sometimes it seems like we’re speaking our own language. We have our own blogs, our own podcasts and of course our own goals, metrics and rules of the road for how we get there. And now we have...
by Holly Jamesen Carr, U.S. Department of Energy on Feb 22, 2016
Every year the Department of Energy releases an annual Winter Progress Update highlighting programmatic activities and partner successes of the Better Buildings Alliance. The 2016 Winter Progress Update and Progress Update Infographic lauds the accomplishments of more than 200 partners,...
by John Jameson, ICF International on Feb 22, 2016
For local governments, energy and water efficiency projects are often in direct competition with other priorities for limited financing. King County, WA, however, found a way to provide access to funding for meeting its energy reduction goals without competition with or delay to other critical...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Feb 19, 2016
The City of Boston maintains 24 neighborhood libraries, with the Central Library in Copley Square serving the main headquarters. Referred to by architect Charles Follen McKim as the "palace for the people,” the facility has achieved a 25% reduction in energy consumption by upgrading its energy...
by Maxime Verstraete, Vice President of Sustainability and ADA Compliance on Feb 19, 2016
When Hilton Worldwide was approached to participate in the Department of Energy’s first-ever Better Buildings Challenge SWAP, we were excited, then the questions hit us.  Our systems are so different, how will they know what to look for? What will they say? How will metrics stack up? As you can...
by Kathy Loftus, Global Leader, Sustainable Facilities, Whole Foods Market on Feb 17, 2016
And it is evident by the partnership we’ve begun in the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP. Whole Foods Market is a company that is well aware of the impact that energy efficiency in commercial buildings can have in protecting the environment and saving billions of dollars in energy costs for the U.S...

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