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University of Pittsburgh Commits to Carbon Neutrality (Ind. Report)
University of Pittsburgh
Date: 2020-03-02
In the Steel City, the University of Pittsburgh reports it has committed to become carbon neutral on the Pittsburgh campus by 2037. Through partnerships, increased building and infrastructure efficiencies, expanded use of renewable energy sources and other measures, Pitt will build on the success of its ambitious Sustainability Plan and existing greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 22 pct between 2008 and 2017. Key initiatives to achieve this goal include:
  • Building Efficiency -- With 130 buildings, including 14 projects certified under U.S. Green Building Council standards, Pitt will continue pursuing its 50 pct reduction in energy use by 2030 in existing facilities. For new construction, the goal is an 80 pct reduction by 2030 in support of the 2037 neutrality goal.

  • Renewable Energy -- The University has committed to purchase at least 50 pct of campus electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including from a low-impact hydroelectric power plant in the Allegheny River that will come online by 2023.

  • Infrastructure Efficiency -- In 2009, Pitt built one of the most efficient steam plants in the nation which has helped reduce CO2 emissions to date. The University is also growing its current fleet of five zero emissions electric vehicles. Efficiencies in purchasing supply chains, materials diversion, greater utilization of active and shared transportation modes and offsets will also help Pitt to become carbon neutral.

  • Leadership and Collaboration -- Students, faculty and staff have embraced Pitt's commitment to sustainability and continue to develop new initiatives, many with funding support.

    The University's pledge exceeds the carbon reduction targets of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Pittsburgh. Pitt's progress toward carbon neutrality will be shared via a newly created online "sustainability dashboard" updated by the University Office of Sustainability. (Source: University of Pittsburgh, PR 28 Feb., 2020) Contact: University of Pittsburgh, Office of Sustainability, Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Dir., (412) 624-5122, asharrard@pitt.edu, sustainability@pitt.edu, www.sustainable.pitt.edu


  • mCloud Interested in BuildingIQ Acquisition (M&A, Ind. Report)
    mCloud Technologies
    Date: 2020-02-12
    Vancouver, B.C.-based mCloud Technologies Corp., a provider of asset management solutions combining IoT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, reports it has inked an Expression of Interest (EoI) to acquire BuildingIQ a cloud-based building technology provider, founded in Australia with offices in the U.S.

    BuildingIQ, which uses IoT and AI to create energy savings and maximize building efficiency, currently connects more than 1,350 commercial buildings worldwide with over 140 million square-feet under management.

    Subject to certain conditions and regulatory approvals the proposed transaction is expected to close on June 19, 2020 .

    mCloud offers complete asset management solutions to three distinct segments: smart facilities, power generation, and process industries including oil and gas. (Source: mCloud Technologies Corp., PR, CNW Feb., 2020) Contact: mCloud, Russ McMeekin, CEO, www.mcloudcorp.com; BuildingIQ, www.buildingiq.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News mCloud,  BuildingIQ,  


    Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act Released (Reg. & Leg. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-10
    In the nation's capitol, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) has released the legislative framework of the draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act -- an ambitious new climate plan to ensure the U.S. achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution and 100 pct clean energy no later than 2050. The draft bill incorporates both proven and novel concepts, presenting a set of policy proposals that will put the U.S. on the path to a clean and prosperous economy. Specific to carbon emissions and climate change, the draft legislation:
  • Directs all federal agencies to use all existing authorities to put the country on a path toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It does not stipulate which energy sources or strategies qualify, instead taking a technology-inclusive approach to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century. To ensure federal agencies' collective efforts remain on track, the draft legislation directs the EPA to evaluate each agency's plans, make recommendations and report on progress each year.

  • Empowers the states to complete the transition to a net-zero economy, based on the existing federalism model in the (Obama administration) Clean Air Act. The bill sets a national climate standard of net-zero greenhouse gas pollution in each state by 2050. States are then granted flexibility to develop plans to meet the 2050 and interim standards based on their policy preferences, priorities and circumstances. Each state must submit a climate plan to EPA, which then reviews and approves or disapproves each plan.

  • Establishes a National Climate Bank to mobilize public and private investments in low- and zero-emissions energy technologies, climate resiliency, building efficiency and electrification, industrial decarbonization, grid modernization, agriculture projects, and clean transportation.

  • The draft legislation reduces transportation emissions, the largest source of GHG emissions, by improving vehicle efficiency, accelerating the transition to low- to zero-carbon fuels and building the infrastructure needed for a clean transportation system. The bill directs EPA to set new, increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including off-road modes of transportation. (Source: Office of Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., Jan., 2020) Contact: Congressman Frank Pallone Jr , Chairman, Energy and Commerce Committee, (202) 225-4671 (202) 225-9665 - fax, https://pallone.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Chicago Skyscraper Rises to USGBC Platinum Energy Efficiency Certification (Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Following up on our November 9, 2018 coverage, in the Windy City, Equity Office, the U.S. office arm of private-equity giant Blackstone Group, reports its 1974-vintage, 110-story Willis Tower -- fka the Sears Tower -- has became the largest building in the U.S. to reach the US Green Building Council's LEED Platinum certification for energy efficiency. The building received a $500 million energy efficiency and sustainability upgrade in 2018.

    As previously reported, the building scored LEED Gold in 2018. In moving up to Platinum, building efficiency was improved via upgrades to heating and cooling systems, hot water generators, lighting, plumbing and an ongoing major overhaul of the elevator systems which make more than 46,000 trips daily and serve about 5.8 million people every year. (Source: USGBC, Star Tribune, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Willis Tower,  Energy Efficiency,  US Green Building Council,  LEED Platinum,  


    Skyscraper Rises to Platinum Energy Efficiency Cert. (Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2019-12-20
    In the Windy City, Equity Office, the U.S. office arm of private-equity giant Blackstone Group, reports its 1974-vintage, 110-story Willis Tower -- fka the Sears Tower – has became the largest building in the U.S. to reach the US Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification for energy efficiency.

    As previously reported , the building scored LEED Gold in 2018. In moving up to Platinum, building efficiency was improved via upgrades to heating and cooling systems, hot water generators, lighting, plumbing and an ongoing major overhaul of the elevator systems which make more than 46,000 trips daily and serve about 5.8 million people every year. (Source: USGBC, Star Tribune, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Energy Efficiency,  LEED Certification,  


    BPA Urges Congress to Support Bldg. Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Building Performance Association
    Date: 2019-10-18
    In Washington, the Building Performance Association (BPA) is urging Congress to act to advance energy efficiency in buildings by maintaining funding for important federal energy efficiency programs and passing legislation that will enable more American families and businesses to access efficiency upgrades.

    Legislation that advances energy efficiency in buildings, especially residential buildings, provides numerous benefits in addition to energy and pollution reductions: supporting small businesses and creating jobs across America, strengthening the durability and resilience of buildings, improving health and comfort, and increasing energy affordability, according to BPA.

    BPA notes the buildings sector is responsible for nearly a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. While buildings are a significant contributor to our climate crisis, they can also be a key part of the solution. With an aging building stock across the country we have only scratched the surface on investing in energy efficiency improvements. Congress can address barriers to retrofitting these existing homes and buildings and advance energy efficiency across the entire buildings sector by supporting workforce development and training, providing incentives for homeowners, and ensuring that building efficiency is part of any conversation on clean energy and climate. (Source: Building Performance Association, PR, Oct., 2019) Contact: Building Performance Association, Kara Saul Rinaldi, VP Gov. Affairs, (202) 276-1773, kara.saul-rinaldi@building-performance.org, www.Building-Performance.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    San Jose Enacting Energy Efficiency Building Codes (Ind.Report)
    San Jose
    Date: 2019-09-18
    In the Golden State, the city of San Jose (pop. 1.2 milluon +-) reports the adoption of the San Jose Reach Code Ordinance which includes new building codes designed to "increase building efficiency, mandate solar readiness, and increase requirements related to electric vehicle charging stations." The new building code will apply to all new residential and non-residential construction in the city.

    More than 45 cities and counties are considering adopting reach codes that require building and transportation electrification. Nineteen cities in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont, have adopted similar ordinances. (Source: City of San Jose, San Jose Spotlight, 16 Sept., 2019) Contact: City of San Jose, www.sanjoseca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Building Energy Efficiency,  


    Dubai Joins Building Efficiency Accelerator Initiative (Int'l.)
    Dubai Supreme Council of Energy
    Date: 2019-09-11
    The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy reports it has joined the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) Initiative, which is pledged to double the rate of energy efficiency improvement in the building sector by 2030.

    The BEA Initiative was launched by The World Resources Institute (WRI) and Johnson Controls (JCI) to increase awareness and adoption of building energy efficiency programs. The Initiative aims to build market awareness and action on local government leadership by example, particularly in the developing world, local benchmarking and sustainable building certification and labeling approaches, innovative financing to support efficiency investments and distributed energy systems at the building and community scale. (Source: Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, DEWA, Aug., 2019) Contact: Dubai Supreme Council of Energy , Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, DEWA CEO, www.dubaisce.gov.ae ; World Resources Institute, www.wri.org; Johnson Controls, Clay Nesler, (855) 324-3650, www.johnsoncontrols.com; Building Efficiency Accelerator Initiative, www.buildingefficiencyaccelerator.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls,  World Resources Institute ,  Energy Efficiency,  Dubai Supreme Council of Energy,  DEWA,  


    JC Completes $4.7Mn Clinton Prairie School Upgrades (Ind. Report)
    Johnson Controls
    Date: 2019-04-03
    Milwaukee-headquartered Johnson Controls (JC) reports the completion of district-wide exterior and interior building updates at Clinton Prairie School Corporation (CPSC) in Frankfort, Indiana. The upgrades included new wireless-controlled lighting in the main gymnasium, exterior access doors and building control optimization.

    The $4.7 million in improvements, which were enabled through an energy performance contract, were installed during the school's off-hours and completed in March 2019. (Source: Johnson Controls, PR, WebWire, 3 April, 2019) Contact: Johnson Controls, Bill Jackson, Pres, Building Efficiency, www.johnsoncontrols.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls ,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Asure Software Launches Env. Occupancy Sensors (New Prod & Tech)
    Asure Software
    Date: 2019-03-20
    Asure Software Incan hour ago In the Lone Star State, Austin-based Asure Software (is reporting the general availability of its newest workplace IoT occupancy sensors that captures building environmental conditions to enable building efficiency and energy cost reductions.

    Asure's new multifunction sensor builds upon its SmartView solution, a fully automated and integrated space utilization measurement system that provides real-time insights by bringing utilization analytics and environmental data into a single unified system. (Source: Azure Software, PR, 19 Mar., 2019) Contact: Azure Software, www.asuresoftware.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Asure Software,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management ,  


    Danube, Johnson Controls Tout UAE Energy Efficiency Deal (Int'l)
    Danube Properties
    Date: 2019-02-15
    In Dubai, UAE-based property developer and owner Danube Properties reports it has entered into an alliance with global energy management and efficiency specialist Johnson Controls to ensure all Danube Properties projects incorporate the latest energy efficiency technology products.

    The buildings and building construction sectors combined are responsible for 36 pct of global final energy consumption and nearly 40 pct of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions, stated the company, citing the data from International Energy Agency (IEA). (Source: Danube Properties, Trade Arabia, 14 Feb., 2019) Contact: Danube Properties, www.danubeproperties.ae; Johnson Controls, Bill Jackson, Pres, Building Efficiency, www.johnsoncontrols.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls,  Energy Efficiency,  


    PA, Philadelphia Adopt New Building Energy Codes (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2018-08-20
    Effective October 1, the Keystone State is adopting a new energy conservation code through an update of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC). The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will be the new building efficiency standard statewide except in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, which is adopting the newer 2018 IECC standard.

    These energy efficiency upgrades are expected to deliver a better then 26 pct increase in building energy efficiency over the current standard.

    Under the 2015 IECC as adopted by the state are requirements for automatic daylight-responsive controls for windows and skylights; a new automatic lighting shut off provision requiring the use of occupancy sensors in 12 building space types including classrooms, conference rooms, lunch rooms, private offices, and restrooms; and exterior lighting control provisions that now require building façade and landscape lighting to be controlled independently of all other site and parking lighting.

    The more stringent 2018 IECC in Philadelphia includes: occupancy sensor control of lighting in open plan office areas with control zones limited to 600 square feet; occupancy sensor shut-off time delay decreased to 20 minutes from the 30 minutes under the prior code; and use of Luminaire Level Lighting Control technologies as an alternate lighting control compliance option. (Source: LeGrand, EC&M, 17 Aug., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Decatur Upgrading to LED Lighting for $2.5Mn Savings (Ind. Report)
    Decatur,Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2018-08-08
    The city of Decatur, Illinois, reports it will contract with Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. for the retrofit of outdoor lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs at various city facilities for a total cost of $2 million.

    Under the contract, Johnson Controls is guaranteeing $2.5 million in savings over the course of 20 years.

    Project funding will come primarily from the guaranteed annual savings of the city's energy bill and $175,000 in rebates from Ameren Illinois. (Source: City of Decatur, Herald & Review, Aug., 2018) Contact: City of Decatur, City Manager, Billy Tyus, (217) 424-2700, www.decaturil.gov; Johnson Controls, Bill Jackson, Pres, Building Efficiency, www.johnsoncontrols.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LED Light,  Johnson Controls,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficient Light,  


    Emirates GBC Launches Regional Energy Benchmarking Program (Int'l)
    Emirates Green Building Council
    Date: 2018-06-04
    In the UAE, the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) is touting its Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) Benchmarking Project for schools. The "first-of-its-kind" in the MENA region BEA project assesses the energy and water performance of existing buildings against similar buildings within the same typology. The project aims to establish the first industry energy and water benchmark for schools in the UAE.

    The BEA project is a global initiative led by World Resources Institute (WRI) under the UN program Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), which aims to double the global rate of building energy efficiency by 2030. Dubai is the first and only city in the Middle East committed to the BEA, and EmiratesGBC is serving as the BEA City Liaison in partnership with Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) to measure energy performance of 100 buildings in Dubai across hotels, schools and malls.(Source: Emirates Green Building Council, ME Construction News, 3 June, 2018) Contact: Emirates Green Building Council, bea@emiratesgbc.org, www.emiratesgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Emirates Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Benchmarking,  


    EU Announces €98.2Mn Energy Efficiency Funding (Int'l)
    European Commission
    Date: 2018-02-19
    In Brussels, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are reporting a €98.2 million investment package under the new Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE) funding program. The investment will cover 10 projects in eight Member States to address environmental quality and building efficiency issues. The move appears to be in response to Eurostat's announcment that the trading block is lagging in its energy efficiency goals.

    The funding package could mobilize an additional €2 billion in funding as Member States also make use of other EU funding sources.

    In related news, Eurostat announced that Europe's 2016 primary energy consumption was 4 pct above the EU's 2020 target to reduce energy consumption by 20 pct below business as usual projections by 2020. Final energy consumption exceeded the target by 2 pct. (Source: EuroStat, European Commission, PR, IISD, 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: Eurostat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Consupmtion,  


    ENTIC to Raise Chicago Skyscraper Building Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Entic
    Date: 2018-01-19
    Fort Lauderdale-based smart building and energy efficiency specialist ENTIC Inc. reports it has been selected by Chicago's Willis Tower -- formerly known as the Sear's Tower -- to deliver increased operational efficiency and utility savings to the iconic 110-story skyscraper. This deal, which is part of a $500 million transformation of the tower, marks the eighth engagement between Entic and Equity Office, bringing ENTIC's enterprise-wide solution to more than 11 million square feet of the company's global portfolio.

    ENTIC's scalable approach delivers low-cost, no-cost opportunities to realize significant utility costs savings between 10 and 20 pct. (Source: ENTIC, PR, 16 Jan., 2018) Contact: ENTIC, www.entic.com; Equity Office- Willis Tower, www.equityoffice.com, www.willis tower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Entic,  Energy Efficiency,  


    LSSU, Johnson Controls Ink Energy Efficiency Contrast (Ind. Report)
    Lake Superior State University,Johnson Controls
    Date: 2017-10-18
    Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan, reports it has inked a 20 year, $700,000 contract with Johnson Controls. Under the terms of the deal, the company will assess how the school is using energy and recommend energy management and efficiency improvements.

    According to the school, theirs and other studies are typical at college campuses, especially colleges with older buildings with questionable energy efficiency. The contract and study will cost the university $700,000, but the school says the contract's expected energy efficiency recommendations, if completed, could deliver more than $10 million in savings. The study will begin immediately and likely take more than six months to complete. (Source: Lake Superior State University, October 16, 2017) Contact: Lake Superior State University, (906) 632-6841, www.lssu.edu; Johnson Controls, Bill Jackson, Pres, Building Efficiency, www.johnsoncontrols.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Control,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management,  Johnson Controls,  


    Energy Efficiency Investments Rising, says Johnson Controls (Ind. Report)
    Johnson Controls
    Date: 2017-10-13
    According to Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) 2017 survey of more than 1,500 facility and management executives in the U.S., Canada, and 10 other countries, global interest and investment in energy efficiency is on the rise, with 70 pct of organizations surveyed paying more attention to energy efficiency than a year ago.

    Consistent with previous year's studies, investments in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment were the most popular energy efficiency- related improvement made last year. Investments in "smart" buildings, energy management, energy efficient lighting (LED), energy storage and energy security were also on the rise among survey respondents. Building energy benchmarking and certification, along with government policy were found to be the key drivers for energy efficiency upgrades and investments. (Source: Johnson Controls, Facility Exec, Oct., 2017) Contact: Johnson Controls, Bill Jackson, Pres, Building Efficiency, www.johnsoncontrols.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Johnson Controls,  

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