Upcoming Events

Better Buildings Alliance events bring together diverse participants to share insights, ideas, and updates about energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Webinars and team conference calls feature experts from industry as well as from the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratories. View archived webinar recordings, slides, and transcripts.

Finding the Next Big Thing(s) in Building Energy Efficiency: HIT Catalyst and the Technology Demo Program

  • November 4, 2014 3:00-4:00 PM EDT

Lighting & Electrical Team Call

  • November 6, 2014 1:00-2:00 PM EDT

February 2014

Real-time Energy Management: Improving Energy Efficiency Every 15 Minutes

Real-time Energy Management: Improving Energy Efficiency Every 15 Minutes

February 4, 2014
3:00-4:00 PM EST

Presenters: David Borchardt and Eugenia Gregorio (The Tower Companies), Stevie Freeman-Montes and Cindy Dolezel (City of Beaverton, OR), Daniel Engebretson (Best Buy)

Organizations have traditionally relied on monthly utility bills to track whole-building energy use, and to benchmark against previous year’s usage or other buildings. Tracking energy use at a more granular level within buildings – by system or piece of equipment, with reporting every 15 minutes in some cases – can help building staff isolate usage issues and correct them much more quickly. This session features Better Buildings Challenge Partners who are employing real-time energy management to achieve their energy reduction goals. The Tower Companies will describe their efforts working with a third party vendor who installed sensors throughout their commercial and residential buildings and acts as an "energy guardian angel," alerting Tower of energy anomalies and proposed corrections. The City of Beaverton, Oregon will present their pilot real-time energy monitoring program for city buildings, which shows great promise. Best Buy will describe the successful deployment of a real-time energy management system across their retail building portfolio.Register here.


Refrigeration Team Meeting

Refrigeration Team Meeting

February 5, 2014
1:00-2:30 PM EST

Key agenda items include:

  • • Exterior Lighting Activity Highlights (Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking Campaign)
  • • Update on ASHRAE supermarket refrigeration commissioning guide
  • • Discussion of alternative refrigerant case studies
  • • Open case retrofit deployment activities
  • • Supermarket refrigeration system asset rating and system rating metric development
  • • Priorities for 2014
  • • Webinar ideas

Audio:1-866-227-0668, conference code 781 270 8363

Conference Call

Lighting & Electrical Team: Exterior Lighting

Lighting & Electrical Team: Exterior Lighting

February 6, 2014
1:00-2:00 PM EST

Key agenda items include:

  • • Update on Interior Lighting Activities
  • • Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign (exterior occupancy sensors, preview of early data)
  • • Plasma Lighting Report (Lighting Research Center, notable items)
  • • Floodlighting (DOE CALiPER report)
  • • Open Discussion
  • • Wrap up

Audio:1-877-336-1839, passcode 6299368 #, weblink

Conference Call

Renewables Integration Team Kickoff Meeting

Renewables Integration Team Kickoff Meeting

February 11, 2014
2:00-3:00 PM EST

Key agenda items include:

  • • Identify interested members
  • • Discuss the vision, key objectives and priorities for Renewables Integration Team
  • • Present and obtain feedback on a solar photovoltaic (PV) decision guide outline

Audio:1-800-811-9285, code 415-399-2191, weblink

Conference Call

Judge the 2014 Better Buildings Case Competition

Calling All Motivated Efficiency Experts: Judge the 2014 Better Buildings Case Competition

February 11, 2014
4:00-5:00 PM EST

Presenters: Jessica Knapstein (Energetics Incorporated)

On March 14th, 350 of the nation’s brightest students from 48 universities will compete to solve some of the commercial building industry’s most challenging energy efficiency problems. Since its start in 2012, the Better Buildings Case Competition has grown as an industry-recognized forum for innovative problem-solving. The Department of Energy (DOE) chooses topic areas which highlight endemic barriers to energy efficiency. Then, industry and public partners familiar with these issues are recruited to provide their knowledge and perspective. The overall issue, as well as details from each of the participating partner's experiences, is summarized in a "case" which is distributed to interdisciplinary student teams from universities across the country. Register here.

Cases that will be featured in the 2014 competition:

  • Welcome Home to Savings:Distributed Generation in Multifamily Housing- Students will develop a replicable strategy to expand energy efficiency and distributed generation at federally assisted housing complexes.
  • Picking up PACE: Taking Commercial PACE Financing to Scale- Students will develop a program structure and a business plan that states can use to effectively implement PACE financing and achieve scale.
  • Electri-City:Energy Management in Public Buildings- Students will recommend a scalable, sustainable, and replicable data acquisition and management strategy for publicly owned buildings.
  • Experimenting with Efficiency: Greening the Grant Process for Research Institutions- Students will develop the business case and implementation strategy for universities to promote energy efficiency in all projects funded with external grant funds, considering every perspective (research facility, grant management, and researcher).
  • Here Comes the Sun: Satisfying RPS with Solar- Students will develop a cost effective solar incentive program strategy for utility companies charged with RPS satisfaction, including a solar carve out.
  • A Side of Savings: Energy Efficiency in the Restaurant Franchise Model- Students will develop a strategy for franchise’s to promote energy efficiency in franchisee locations, including consideration of the complicated ownership, investment, and management.

The student teams have three months to formulate solutions and submit a case paper. On March 14, the teams will come to the DOE headquarters in Washington, DC to present their solutions before panels of expert judges. Participating industry professionals have found it to be a great place to shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders as well as recruit fresh and qualified applicants to open positions within their organizations.


A Comprehensive Process to Cost Effectively Achieve Safe, Energy Efficient, and Sustainable Labs

A Comprehensive Process to Cost Effectively Achieve Safe, Energy Efficient, and Sustainable Laboratory Buildings

February 14, 2014
1:30-2:30 PM EST

Presenters: Thomas Smith (Exposure Control Technologies, Inc.)

With operating costs that often exceed $7 per square feet, laboratory buildings offer tremendous opportunities to reduce energy consumption through optimization of the laboratory hoods and ventilation systems. Approximately 60% of the energy consumed by a laboratory building can be attributed to operation of the laboratory ventilation systems. The systems including chemical fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, and other exposure control devices are necessary to provide environments conducive to high quality research while protecting people from exposure to hazardous materials. Modification of the systems to minimize energy use while ensuring safe and productive laboratories requires careful planning and effective execution of renovation projects. Through work with the U.S. EPA, LBNL, the University of California-Irvine, and other top research organizations, a comprehensive process was developed to identify and prioritize energy reduction opportunities, establish appropriate operating specifications for lab safety, execute energy reduction projects, and implement a Lab Ventilation Management Program (LVMP) to minimize risk and maintain efficient operation. This presentation will describe the process to effectively execute lab renovation projects to achieve safe, energy efficient, and sustainable lab buildings. Register today. On the day of the webinar, dial 866-740-1260 to access audio.

Learning Objectives:

  • • Gain an understanding of requirements to achieve and maintain safe and productive laboratories
  • • Gain an understanding of energy conservation measures appropriate for laboratories
  • • Learn about the process for prioritizing opportunities and executing cost effective energy reduction projects.
  • • Learn how to maintain laboratory ventilation systems through implementation of a Lab Ventilation Management Program (LVMP)

Target Audience: Facilities managers, energy managers, environmental health and safety staff, sustainability officers, consulting engineers, and mechanical contractors that are associated with energy projects for laboratory buildings in government, university, pharmaceutical, chemical, biotech, or microelectronic research facilities


Taking Action Toward Efficient RTUs (and Keeping them Efficient after Installation)

Taking Action Toward Efficient RTUs (and Keeping them Efficient after Installation)

February 25, 2014
1:00-1:30 PM EST

Join the Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC), in coordination with NYSERDA HVAC Business Partners, for a webinar on why building owners and operators should install high-efficiency rooftop units (RTUs), and how and to keep them running efficiently with Quality Maintenance practices. Michael Deru from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Ed Smyth from DNV GL, an independent contractor to NYSERDA, recently presented these details at the ASHRAE Winter Conference. The following information will be shared with ARC and NYSERDA audiences:

  • • Taking Action toward Efficient RTUs: ARC Decision Tree and other Technical Resources to support the replacement/retrofit of inefficient RTUs
  • • Keeping the "Efficient" Part in Efficient RTUs: Design Correctly, Install Wisely, Optimize Effectively
  • Register today.


Successful Commissioning of Refrigeration Systems

Successful Commissioning of Refrigeration Systems

February 27, 2014
1:30-2:30 PM EST

Presenters: Richard Royal (Wal-Mart Stores), Doug Scott (VaCom Technologies), Caleb Nelson (CTA)

Refrigeration systems account for a significant portion of commercial building energy use especially in the food sales and service sector. Thousands of systems are installed annually in grocery stores, convenience stores, as well as food distribution and processing facilities. The key is to design and operate these systems to minimize energy consumption. DOE, NREL, ASHRAE, and industry experts recently completed the "Refrigeration Commissioning Guide for Commercial and Industrial Systems" to lead owners, design teams, and operators through the process of commissioning. Register today.