Accelerating Building Efficiency: Eight Actions for Urban Leaders

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This guide provides local governments and other urban leaders in cities around the world with the background, guidance, and tools to accelerate building efficiency action in their communities. The primary intended audience is local government officials in urban areas.

Grazing Goats Get Government Work

Read the full story from Stateline.

Porcelain berry vines have invaded the hillside here on the edge of the city’s West Penn Park, strangling native plants and trees and threatening to take over the park.

The City of Pittsburgh doesn’t want to use herbicides to clear the fast-growing invasive plant. And pulling the vines out by hand may expose workers to poison ivy and thorns. But a new contracting crew has just the appetite for the job.

Cowboy, Twinsie and eight other goats owned by Steel City Grazers will hoof it through West Penn and two other city parks all summer, eating the vines and other weeds to make room for native plants to grow. And Pittsburgh isn’t the only city or state where goats are being enlisted by government this year. They are being called on to munch on buckthorn in Minneapolis, nibble on English ivy in New York City, and clear brush in Southern California.

Big efficiency for small and medium buildings

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

For those of us working in the green buildings field, it can appear on the surface that all the exciting work is happening in enormous buildings and portfolios in popular coastal cities.

Stories about net-zero renovations in Silicon Valley, innovative efficiency solutions for Fortune 500 headquarters in New York and big Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) achieving LEED or GRESB certifications dominate the majority of green building media coverage.

While aggressive action to retrofit large existing buildings in mega cities such as New York remains important, it’s also crucial that we don’t overlook smaller cities and companies with smaller portfolios that are often just as interested in lowering energy costs but lack resources to do so.

Exploring Energy Efficiency: A Multi-Sector Survey on Energy Efficiency Tracking Platforms

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As inclusion of greater sustainability practices and operational policies to reduce  energy use takes root in buildings and campuses across the country, there is a growing need to better track, manage, and share the results that these projects produce. Numerous platforms and tools exist to help organizations across all sectors accomplish these goals, but there is little information examining what users prioritize and what platforms provide them across different sectors. To that end, the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) sought to study how various organizations track their energy efficiency projects by conducting a multi-sector survey to assess the benefits and weaknesses of energy efficiency platforms.
SEI developed this brief report to encourage stakeholders to evaluate their own institution’s needs as well as compare against peers in their own field. By examining the five different sectors of healthcare, higher education, K-12 school systems, municipalities, and corporations, SEI sought to examine the overarching commonalities for organizations appearing to prioritize reducing energy use, reducing operational costs, and more closely aligning with institutional environmental and carbon reduction goals.

Shaping the Future of Construction: A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology

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This report is the first publication of a multi-year project for guiding and supporting the Engineering & Construction (E&C) industry during its current transformation. The report describes the industry’s present state, assesses relevant global trends and their impact on the industry, and devises an industry-transformation framework with key areas for development and action. It also features many best practices and case studies of innovative approaches or solutions, and offers a view — at different levels, such as at the company-, industry- and sector-level — of how the future of construction might look.

Bringing Energy Upgrades To the Nation’s Inner Cities

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

Donnel Baird has launched a startup that aims to revolutionize how small businesses and nonprofits secure funding for energy efficiency and clean energy projects in low-income neighborhoods. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about how he plans to bring his vision to dozens of U.S. cities.