Sustainable DC Advances With Adoption of Green Building Codes

Trending the week of March 24, 2014 were several news announcements indicating advances with announced goals for Sustainable DC. 

Highlights of the LEED/Green Building and Commissioning Sessions of the DCRA Green Building Symposium and Expo of September 14, 2012.

gereports:

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When Garthen Leslie worked at the Department of Energy, his job was to conserve resources. But at home, his air conditioner was wasting them. “I was tired of choosing between wasting energy or suffering through the stuffy summer heat.” His summertime dilemma got him thinking about developing…

Water Tanks: Views from the New Museum of Contemporary Art 

Getting Water to New Yorkers Is a Family Business: Three companies with a history of installing wooden water tanks in New York City

untappedcities:

In Madison Square Park, a Water Tower Art Installation Symbolizes Hope http://ift.tt/1eG8MqI

untappedcities:

In Madison Square Park, a Water Tower Art Installation Symbolizes Hope http://ift.tt/1eG8MqI

                               Sustainable DC | Greening DC 
D.C. released energy benchmarking data on the energy and water performance of the largest privately owned buildings in the city.   The reporting was in compliance with the DC Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (CAEA) that requires building owners of large commercial buildings and all public buildings to benchmark their building(s) to obtain an ENERGY STAR® rating.  Using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free software program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), data entered into the Portfolio Manager results in an energy efficiency rating between 1-100. 
As the lead agency engaged in the rulemaking, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) established the following benchmarking reporting deadlines for commercial building owners: 
July 1, 2011 for buildings of 200,000 SF or more
April 1, 2012 for buildings 150,000 - 200,000 SF
April 1, 2013 for buildings 100,000 - 150,000 SF
April 1, 2014 for buildings 50,000 - 100,000 SF
On February 24, 2014 DDOE issued the Green Building Report with highlights of benchmarking data from 490 of the city’s largest privately owned building, covering the 2011 data for buildings larger than 200,000 square feet and the 2012 data for buildings larger than 150,000 square feet.  DDOE notes that the District is the first jurisdiction in the country to require private building owners to measure energy and water performance and the second city (after New York City) to publicly disclose benchmarking data to the public. The results indicate that on average, large private commercial buildings in the District score 77 out of 100 on the ENERGY STAR® scale or in the 77th percentile of energy efficiency nationwide — well above the national median score of 50.  Additional findings: 
Efficiency is improving. Buildings over 200,000 gross square feet reported data for 2010-2012 that showed a reduced energy usage by 6% on average over that period.
Age has no impact.  Contrary to popular belief, there is zero correlation between the age of a building and its energy performance.
High Compliance Rate. To date, over 83% of buildings required to report energy benchmarking data to DDOE have done so. 
On April 1, privately owned buildings larger than 50,000 square feet will be subject to the District’s benchmarking reporting requirements.  DDOE is anticipating that 1,480 buildings will be reporting benchmarked data, including 606 buildings between 50,000 and 99,999 square feet that will be reporting for the first time.
The District selected the EPA Portfolio Manger to streamline the benchmarking process and to provide a standard metric for building owners to compare a building’s performance against past performance for reducing energy consumption.  The ENERGY STAR® rating also provides an index for comparing a building’s performance against similar buildings nationwide.  DDOE notes, “These comparisons have been shown to drive energy efficiency upgrades and increase occupancy rates and property values.” Providing a tool for building owners to manage and reduce energy consumption is central to the vision for Sustainable DC.
Of Special Note: DCSEU ENERGY STAR® Benchmarking Training and Help Center: In response to the District’s new regulation, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) began offering training and technical assistance to private building owners on the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software, complete with an exercise on how to benchmark a building and how to report the results to DDOE. A Benchmarking Help Center has been established to provide technical assistance to building owners and property managers.  
DC SEU has announced a schedule of Energy Star Benchmarking Training.  The Benchmarking Help Center is available to provide additional guidance to building owners and managers on using the EPA Portfolio Manager software and to answer general questions about the regulation and reporting requirements.  The Help Center can be reached at benchmarking@dcseu.com or by telephone at (202) 525-7036. 
DDOE News Release: District Releases Benchmarking Performance of Large Privately Owned Buildings, February 24, 2014
The most, least energy efficient private buildings in Washington, Washington Business Journal, Michael Neibauer, February 24, 2014 

                               Sustainable DC | Greening DC 

D.C. released energy benchmarking data on the energy and water performance of the largest privately owned buildings in the city.   The reporting was in compliance with the DC Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (CAEA) that requires building owners of large commercial buildings and all public buildings to benchmark their building(s) to obtain an ENERGY STAR® rating.  Using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free software program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), data entered into the Portfolio Manager results in an energy efficiency rating between 1-100.

As the lead agency engaged in the rulemaking, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) established the following benchmarking reporting deadlines for commercial building owners:

  • July 1, 2011 for buildings of 200,000 SF or more
  • April 1, 2012 for buildings 150,000 - 200,000 SF
  • April 1, 2013 for buildings 100,000 - 150,000 SF
  • April 1, 2014 for buildings 50,000 - 100,000 SF

On February 24, 2014 DDOE issued the Green Building Report with highlights of benchmarking data from 490 of the city’s largest privately owned building, covering the 2011 data for buildings larger than 200,000 square feet and the 2012 data for buildings larger than 150,000 square feet.  DDOE notes that the District is the first jurisdiction in the country to require private building owners to measure energy and water performance and the second city (after New York City) to publicly disclose benchmarking data to the public. The results indicate that on average, large private commercial buildings in the District score 77 out of 100 on the ENERGY STAR® scale or in the 77th percentile of energy efficiency nationwide — well above the national median score of 50.  Additional findings:

  • Efficiency is improving. Buildings over 200,000 gross square feet reported data for 2010-2012 that showed a reduced energy usage by 6% on average over that period.
  • Age has no impact.  Contrary to popular belief, there is zero correlation between the age of a building and its energy performance.
  • High Compliance Rate. To date, over 83% of buildings required to report energy benchmarking data to DDOE have done so. 

On April 1, privately owned buildings larger than 50,000 square feet will be subject to the District’s benchmarking reporting requirements.  DDOE is anticipating that 1,480 buildings will be reporting benchmarked data, including 606 buildings between 50,000 and 99,999 square feet that will be reporting for the first time.

The District selected the EPA Portfolio Manger to streamline the benchmarking process and to provide a standard metric for building owners to compare a building’s performance against past performance for reducing energy consumption.  The ENERGY STAR® rating also provides an index for comparing a building’s performance against similar buildings nationwide.  DDOE notes, “These comparisons have been shown to drive energy efficiency upgrades and increase occupancy rates and property values.” Providing a tool for building owners to manage and reduce energy consumption is central to the vision for Sustainable DC.

Of Special Note: DCSEU ENERGY STAR® Benchmarking Training and Help Center: In response to the District’s new regulation, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) began offering training and technical assistance to private building owners on the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software, complete with an exercise on how to benchmark a building and how to report the results to DDOE. A Benchmarking Help Center has been established to provide technical assistance to building owners and property managers. 

DC SEU has announced a schedule of Energy Star Benchmarking Training.  The Benchmarking Help Center is available to provide additional guidance to building owners and managers on using the EPA Portfolio Manager software and to answer general questions about the regulation and reporting requirements.  The Help Center can be reached at benchmarking@dcseu.com or by telephone at (202) 525-7036.

DDOE News Release: District Releases Benchmarking Performance of Large Privately Owned Buildings, February 24, 2014

The most, least energy efficient private buildings in Washington, Washington Business Journal, Michael Neibauer, February 24, 2014 

DOE Announcs the 2015 Solar Decathlon: The Competition Begins
The U.S. Department of Energy announced the start of the 2015 Solar Decathlon.  Every two years DOE selects 20 teams for the competition to design and build energy-efficient, solar-powered houses.  The Solar Decathlon is also viewed as an exercise that will build career skills outside of the classroom.
While the building process is different for every team, one theme is consistent — for most students, this is their first construction experience. Along the way, students learn how to read blueprints, work with contractors, stay on deadline and even operate power tools. They also become experts in problem solving, figuring out ways to resolve design conflicts on the construction site. This includes testing their energy systems to make sure their houses produce as much energy as they use — a key part of the competition.

News:
Solar Decathlon 2015: Let The Competition Begin, February 13, 2014 

Building Skills for Future Careers

DOE Announcs the 2015 Solar Decathlon: The Competition Begins

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the start of the 2015 Solar Decathlon.  Every two years DOE selects 20 teams for the competition to design and build energy-efficient, solar-powered houses.  The Solar Decathlon is also viewed as an exercise that will build career skills outside of the classroom.

While the building process is different for every team, one theme is consistent — for most students, this is their first construction experience. Along the way, students learn how to read blueprints, work with contractors, stay on deadline and even operate power tools. They also become experts in problem solving, figuring out ways to resolve design conflicts on the construction site. This includes testing their energy systems to make sure their houses produce as much energy as they use — a key part of the competition.

News:

Solar Decathlon 2015: Let The Competition Begin, February 13, 2014 

Building Skills for Future Careers

           Embassy of Finland | 20th Jubilee Green Embassy

In celebration of the status as a LEED certified embassy, the Embassy of Finland is displaying a banner:  20th Jubilee Green Embassy

The Embassy of Finland was the first embassy in the U.S. to be awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for existing buildings.  No doubt the banner is a reminder to the D.C. area community of Finland’s commitment to environmental sustainability. 

Embassy of Finland, the first LEED certified embassy in the U.S.

           DC SEU Advancing Sustainable DC: 2013 > 2014 
DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) completed year 2 with the following progress in advancing Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC goals.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR – DC SEU completed 45 Home Performance energy improvement projects, helping qualified homeowners secure a forgivable loan of up to $12,000 in partnership with Industrial Bank.
Small Scale Solar Initiative – DC SEU Increased the number of installations of small solar systems at homes in Ward 5, 7, and 8 to 110 from 54 in 2012.  The solar systems helped low-income residents save an average of $500 on annual electricity costs.  
Low-Income Multifamily Housing – Residents, owners, and developers of affordable multifamily housing were able to reduce energy costs through improvements funded by DC SEU.  In 2013 2,800 low-income households benefited with an average annual energy cost savings of $220.  DC SEU participated as a member of the development team to complete extensive energy efficiency improvements at Bass Circle Apartments, a 119-unit apartment built in the 1940s in Marshall Heights.  Upgrades at Capital Park Plaza included installation of CFLs and low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads.  
In advancing renewable energy, DC SEU partnered with Skyline Innovations to complete the installation of active closed-loop hot water systems at 22 affordable multifamily buildings serving more than 700 apartments.   
Retail Efficient Products – The number of DC SEU retail partners selling energy-efficient light bulbs increased from 39 to 50 making it convenient for residents to purchase 218,600 CLFs (compact fluorescent light) bulbs and 6,300 LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs.  
Commercial and Institutional Customers – To increase energy efficiency, commercial customers took advantage of DC SUE rebates, incentives, and technical assistance to replace 4,800 inefficient T12 fluorescent lights with high-performance T8 systems, refrigeration and HVAC products.   
Of significance, DC SEU worked with Children’s National Medical Center, one of the larger energy users, to outline a program of energy improvements that could be incorporated in the hospital’s capital asset plan.
Benchmarking  - The DC Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 established a deadline for mandatory energy and water use reporting for private buildings by April 1, 2013.  In response to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) January 2013 release of final rules for energy benchmarking of private buildings DC SEU is providing training and technical assistance and conducted 11 sessions for condominium boards, university sustainability offices, embassy staff, and commercial building owners and property managers.  As an additional benchmarking aid, DDOE has posted  Case studies of energy benchmarking
DC SEU 2013 Annual Report, Making An Impact: Building a brighter economic, environmental, and energy future for the District    

           DC SEU Advancing Sustainable DC: 2013 > 2014

DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) completed year 2 with the following progress in advancing Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC goals.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR – DC SEU completed 45 Home Performance energy improvement projects, helping qualified homeowners secure a forgivable loan of up to $12,000 in partnership with Industrial Bank.

Small Scale Solar Initiative – DC SEU Increased the number of installations of small solar systems at homes in Ward 5, 7, and 8 to 110 from 54 in 2012.  The solar systems helped low-income residents save an average of $500 on annual electricity costs. 

Low-Income Multifamily Housing – Residents, owners, and developers of affordable multifamily housing were able to reduce energy costs through improvements funded by DC SEU.  In 2013 2,800 low-income households benefited with an average annual energy cost savings of $220.  DC SEU participated as a member of the development team to complete extensive energy efficiency improvements at Bass Circle Apartments, a 119-unit apartment built in the 1940s in Marshall Heights.  Upgrades at Capital Park Plaza included installation of CFLs and low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads. 

In advancing renewable energy, DC SEU partnered with Skyline Innovations to complete the installation of active closed-loop hot water systems at 22 affordable multifamily buildings serving more than 700 apartments.  

Retail Efficient Products – The number of DC SEU retail partners selling energy-efficient light bulbs increased from 39 to 50 making it convenient for residents to purchase 218,600 CLFs (compact fluorescent light) bulbs and 6,300 LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. 

Commercial and Institutional Customers – To increase energy efficiency, commercial customers took advantage of DC SUE rebates, incentives, and technical assistance to replace 4,800 inefficient T12 fluorescent lights with high-performance T8 systems, refrigeration and HVAC products.  

Of significance, DC SEU worked with Children’s National Medical Center, one of the larger energy users, to outline a program of energy improvements that could be incorporated in the hospital’s capital asset plan.

Benchmarking  - The DC Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 established a deadline for mandatory energy and water use reporting for private buildings by April 1, 2013.  In response to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) January 2013 release of final rules for energy benchmarking of private buildings DC SEU is providing training and technical assistance and conducted 11 sessions for condominium boards, university sustainability offices, embassy staff, and commercial building owners and property managers.  As an additional benchmarking aid, DDOE has posted  Case studies of energy benchmarking

DC SEU 2013 Annual Report, Making An Impact: Building a brighter economic, environmental, and energy future for the District    

jillianwatkins:

murky woods           jillian c. watkins 2014