Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge

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    The Houston Independent School District has recently partnered with the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge. The Challenge is a nation-wide initiative to make participating buildings 20% more energy efficient by Year 2020. It will demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and encourage others to take action.

    The Challenge will allow the district to be recognized as one of the emerging leaders in energy efficiency. There is a network of innovative organizations that are implementing energy efficiency projects to reduce costs. Soon the district and the Construction and Facility Services (CFS) department will be focusing on specific strategies and projects to be implemented during the Challenge, including technical assistance on how to improve building processes and implement best practices.

    The Challenge begins with three actions:
    1. Take definitive steps to commit to energy efficiency;
    2. Act on those goals and;
    3. Share the energy savings results.
    The district has committed to participate in this program through 2016. Projects that are currently participating in the energy performance contracting, as well as include the new LEED buildings, particularly those buildings that are replacing existing schools, will be showcased. Through performance contracting, as well as new LEED certified buildings, the energy cost savings expected should reach save 20-percent. This will allow the district to build new facilities and operate more schools with lowered energy consumption for the district.

    The Better Buildings Challenge is a Presidential leadership initiative, calling on chief executive officers, university presidents, and state and local leaders to create American jobs through building energy efficiency. Community Partners agree to:
    • Assign a senior leader to fulfill Better Buildings Challenge commitments
    • Encourage local businesses and universities to assess opportunities to promote measurable energy efficiency savings and pledge a commitment to action for the next 2 to 5 years.
    • Publicly announce one or more innovative energy efficiency initiatives.