Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who Cares About Better Buildings? A Diverse Group of Companies Answer, “We Do!”

Lane Burt
Technical Policy Director
U.S. Green Building Council

As a movement, we knew we had come a long way when President Obama announced the Better Buildings Initiative in February, establishing the goal of slashing energy consumption in commercial buildings 20 percent by 2020. Groups like USGBC, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Real Estate Roundtable (RER) applauded the plan. But articulating the goal and achieving it are two different things, and we all realize that so much of the initiative hinges on coordinating and communicating as we are pursuing building improvements and smart policy changes. That’s why we have again joined with NRDC and RER to launch the Coalition for Better Buildings (, an action network dedicated to improving energy efficiency of commercial and multi-family buildings. The website went live last week and new members are joining daily.

With representatives across the building industries, we are stepping up to tell all who will listen how everyone benefits from better buildings and what changes are needed to realize those benefits. Whether it's for job creation, energy and water savings, health improvements, increased productivity, or other reasons, we are once again coming together to show why we care about better buildings.
  • Building owners want to stop wasteful energy consumption. They want access to their building energy information so they can start making improvements. They want to see investments in their buildings lead to higher value. And they want access to financing so they can start the improvements immediately.
  • Building operators want support to implement the money saving solutions they identify. They want to be able to get the data so they can show how much they are improving the buildings.
  • Tenants want to make efficiency upgrades in their spaces and make sure their bills actually go down. They want to work with the owner on upgrades that will improve the entire building.
  • Lenders want to get the information they need to understand the savings that will occur and risk of the project before they lend.
  • Architecture and engineering firms want to design and sell better building systems.
  • Builders want to see their best buildings in high demand on the market.
  • Manufacturers want to sell their best, most efficient products that they have researched and brought to the market.
  • Energy service companies want to increase opportunities to scale their low risk, high reward services.
  • Commissioning companies want more jobs tuning building systems so that they operate as they were designed.
  • Affordable housing providers need solutions to the same problems they find in multi-family buildings.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. And if you look at the C4BB mission and member list, you'll see that's exactly what these companies are saying.

We know you care about better buildings, too, so have your company join us in C4BB as we coordinate to tear down the barriers that are keeping us from achieving impressive reductions in energy consumption even before 2020. Let’s get started.

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