Commercial Building Partnerships
Through the Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP), building owners and operators (Partners) team with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) representatives, national laboratory staff, and private-sector technical experts to explore energy-saving ideas and strategies in retrofit and new construction projects. The projects will serve as test beds and training centers for innovative building-related research and will demonstrate how energy use can be dramatically reduced in commercial buildings.
Retailers, commercial real estate developers and managers, and hospital owners and operators participate in CBP. Participants agree to pursue ambitious energy-saving goals and provide necessary project resources. In turn, DOE representatives, national laboratory staff, and private-sector technical experts help participants meet their aggressive design goals with reasonable returns on investment.
Assistance from the national laboratories may include:
- Energy modeling and strategy optimization
- Integrated design processes that incorporate energy efficiency and renewables
- Guidance procuring materials and equipment and assembling design teams
- Energy performance verification of completed projects (does not include equipment purchases)
- Low-energy building designs that can be replicated across company portfolios
- Detailed documentation of the processes and results, including business case studies and lessons learned.
Transforming the Energy Landscape
CBP participants have the opportunity to explore energy-saving ideas and alternatives that could be too expensive or technologically challenging to tackle without the resources and technical expertise available through CBP. At the same time, these projects provide DOE and the nation with living laboratories of energy-efficient technologies and strategies that could quickly become the standard for commercial buildings. Information drawn from the projects—such as detailed measurement and verification data and lessons learned—will guide development of DOE's R&D portfolio. It also will provide the operational and cost data that companies need to make a solid business case for investing in high-performance buildings.
While working on the projects, CBP participants further extend their influence in the commercial buildings sector by participating in one of DOE's Commercial Building Energy Alliances and sharing best practices with peers in their building subsectors.
CBP participants will continue to benefit from reduced operating expenses after construction is complete. These bottom-line savings will come not only from significant reductions in building energy costs but also from implementation of best practices that can improve equipment reliability, reduce outages, and improve disaster mitigation capabilities.
Project Selection Criteria
CBP projects are competitively selected through DOE multi-laboratory solicitations. More than a dozen projects, selected in 2008, are actively working on buildings and an additional 25 projects were recently selected through a solicitation funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- Likelihood of achieving significant energy savings
- Probability of success
- Widespread deployment potential
- Contribution to the CBP portfolio of energy-saving solutions
- Commitment of resources to improving energy efficiency