This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines project. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) are working with industry stakeholders to develop voluntary national guidelines that will improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce training and certification programs for five key energy-related jobs.
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The Energy Department worked with members of its Better Buildings Alliance and Federal agencies to develop this performance-based manufacturing specification. The specification recommends minimum performance requirements for one or more multiple wireless measurement devices, or sub-meters. The metering system addresses energy consumption; measuring and monitoring granular electric energy consumption data at the panel-level to support the implementation of energy efficiency improvements.
While the availability of “big data” about building energy performance is increasing in response to market demands and public policies, the lack of standard data formats is a significant ongoing barrier to its full utilization. To overcome this barrier, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) developed the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES).
BEDES is designed to enable the exchange, comparison, and combination of empirical information by providing common terms and definitions for data about commercial and residential building’s physical and operational characteristics, energy use, and efficiency measures.
This paper describes the BEDES development process, scope, structure, and plans for implementation and ongoing updates.
On December 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of a new partnership to jump-start zero energy schools across the country. The Zero Energy Schools Accelerator enables states and school districts alike to design, construct, and operate these cutting-edge, energy-saving schools. This press release highlights the importance of the Accelerator by featuring a completed zero energy school, Discovery Elementary in Arlington, Virginia.
"Zero Net Energy (ZNE) is the future, and in a growing number of places the present, of building design and energy policy. A growing strategy to get to ZNE is to separate the building’s heating/cooling from the ventilation/dehumidification. Design firms and owners are striving to meet heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) loads with optimum comfort and minimal energy. Radiant systems can provide heating and cooling through pipes while ventilation and any humidity control requirements are efficiently met by a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS). This guide provides an overview of Radiant Heating and Cooling + DOAS systems."
7x7x7: Design Energy Water is an innovative program by the Division of the State Architect that encouraged California school districts to develop long-range master plans that reduce energy and water consumption on campuses and improve the quality of educational spaces. The State Architect engages seven architectural firms to develop seven conceptual case studies that reduce school energy and water consumption and result in better learning environments on seven different types of campuses (six K-12 schools and a community college). The seven campuses are representative of typical building types from different eras constructed across California’s varied climate zones. The purpose and primary goal of this program is to enable all existing K-14 facilities to be zero energy by 2030.
This case study describes a successful zero energy school project in Utah.
Report by the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Green Sports Alliance looks at ways the nation’s sports venues can make an impact by reducing their energy and water use. The report considers the potential water and energy reductions the U.S. sports sector could make, and highlights the financial savings some leagues and teams are already seeing from putting such efficiency initiatives into place. The report looks at the progress already being made in the nation’s sports venues, challenges to widespread improvement and opportunities to move forward.
In 2016, a project team of representatives from the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Green Sports Alliance began working on this project with input from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The team looked at the existing data; conducted workshops and webinars; launched an industry survey; and interviewed representatives from across the sports industry. More than 125 industry representatives participated in these activities, and an additional 20,000 stakeholders received information on the project. This report compiles that data and sets a path for future implementation.
The Fire Station Efficiency Solutions Package aims to assist municipalities nationwide to reduce carbon footprints, lower utility bills, and increase resiliency by selecting improvements that will reduce energy and water use in existing buildings by at least 20%. This toolkit is a product of a collaboration between the City of Atlanta and Southface Energy Institute. Through this solutions package, municipalities and fire departments will be equipped to plan and implement individual and portfolio-level upgrades.
The goal of the study was to determine the extent to which empirical evidence gathered via existing studies demonstrates that efficiency contributes to better financial performance.
Over 50 relevant studies from the market were reviewed and compiled into this summary.
While this review originally sought to cover all research on energy efficiency and financial performance, the final product focuses on “green labeled” buildings. The majority of research to date uses LEED or ENERGY STAR certifications as the means of distinguishing between efficient or sustainable buildings and conventional buildings. Specific energy efficiency measures, while proven to result in energy cost savings, have not yet been extensively evaluated for broader impacts.
This study does not represent new analysis conducted by DOE. It is a comprehensive survey and summary of the current body of research on the impacts of green labels on key components of commercial buildings’ operating statements. It does not exclude any studies or evaluate the quality of analysis.