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Better Buildings Case Competition

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The DOE held its first Better Buildings Case Competition on March 2, 2012 on the White House Campus. Students from 19 universities from around the country traveled to DC to present their ideas on four different case studies. Reviewing student ideas, from left: Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council; Energy Secretary Chu; and Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency.

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University teams-led by their respective energy clubs-are challenged to analyze case studies focusing on a range of barriers to energy efficiency faced by private-sector organizations and state and local governments. The case studies consist of real scenarios, background information, and data provided primarily by Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge program, a broad public-private partnership working to achieve President Obama's goal of making America's commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020.

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Houston Judges(from left to right) Nandini Mouli-Business Manager with the Maryland Energy Administration, Billi Romain-Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Berkeley, Mona Khalil-Senior Energy Analyst at U.S. DOE, and Dean Fisher-Program Manager with the Maryland Energy Administration.

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Shane Stanfield, a first year MBA student at University of California, Irvine, presents his team's HEI Hotel case.

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Noah Walker, a first year MBA-Master of Environmental Management joint degree student at Yale University, presents his team's Cassidy Turley Office case.

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Eric Jeremiah (front-center), Chief Engineer of Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, leads Patrick DiCiaccio and Monica Neukomm (U.S. DOE, far left) and a group of 2012 Better Buildings Case Competition students on a behind-the-scenes tour of the hotel's energy efficiency measures.

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu, announced the winners and congratulated them for their efforts to address some of the most consistent and stubborn barriers in energy efficiency. The winners included Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, The George Washington University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Colorado Denver, and University of Southern California.

2012 Better Buildings Case Competition

The inaugural Better Buildings Case Competition was held on March 2, 2012 at the White House campus. Students from 19 universities traveled across the country to present their proposals and compete and in an all day workshop. The student teams addressed energy efficiency challenges through real-world case studies for four case partners, Cassidy Turley, the City of Houston, the District of Columbia, and HEI Hotels and Resorts. View case studies, competition resources, and winning presentations on the right of this page. Please direct all inquiries to BBCC@ee.doe.gov.

The following university teams won their respective competitions:

The City of Houston: Teams suggested ways that the City of Houston could build upon its existing policies and programs to create an even more effective environment that spurs greater investment in energy efficiency in its commercial building stock.

  • Most Innovative: University of California, Berkeley
  • Best Proposal: George Washington University

The District of Columbia: Teams proposed recommendations that the District of Columbia could apply to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center site to help ensure the redevelopment achieves the District’s goals for energy and water efficiency.

  • Most Innovative: MIT
  • Best Proposal: Carnegie Mellon

HEI Hotels and Resorts: Teams suggested ways that HEI Hotels and Resorts can promote energy efficiency projects and other socially responsible programs.

  • Most Innovative: University of Colorado, Denver
  • Best Proposal: Columbia University

Cassidy Turley: Teams suggested solutions to Cassidy Turley’s classic multitenant office building retrofit scenario, where the challenges of limited capital and split incentives between owners and tenants must be solved in order to implement energy efficiency projects.

  • Most Innovative: University of Southern California
  • Best Proposal: MIT

hei hotels & resorts

winners

Best Proposal

Columbia Unversity
Dara Hourdajian, Kevin Lehman, David Ganske, Jorge Ordonez-Malagon, Tristan Wallace, Steven Monks, Lian Zhang, Anja Gilbert

Read the Paper

winners

Most Innovative

University of Colorado, Denver
Kyle Dunn, Nathan Clark, Tyler Huggins, Meagan Sheff-Atteberry, Dr. Steven Chu, Jessica Weyandt, Aaron Nelson

Read the Paper
View the Presentation

district of columbia

winners

Best Proposal

Carnegie Mellon University
Erica Cochran, Colleen Horin, Enes Hosgor, Secretary Steven Chu, Donald Johnson, Farhad Farahmand

Read the Paper
View the Presentation

winners

Most Innovative

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chistopher Jones, Zachary Mallow, Brendan McEwen, Nikhil Nadkarni, Neheet Trivedi, Nan Zhao

Read the Paper
View the Presentation

Cassidy Turley Office Building

winners

Best Proposal

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kate Goldstein, Patrick Flynn, Elena Alschuler

Read the Paper
View the Presentation

winners

Most Innovative

University of Southern California
Elliot Weinstock, William Vicent, Nirat Patel, Bianca Lo, Geman Wu, Bertram Foster, Sarah Dominguez, Nadine Mackenzie, Abhay Nagory, Riddhi Ray

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View the Presentation

CITY OF HOUSTON CASE STUDY

winners

Best Proposal

George Washington University
Sidhartha Nilakanta, Steve Kinard Jr., Scott Weiss, John Lee, Nate Facteau

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winners

Most Innovative

University of California, Berkeley
Grace Hsu, Katie Dewitt

Read the Paper
View the Presentation

2012 PARTICIPANTS

Georgetown University
The George Washington University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Tufts University
Harvard University
Babson College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dartmouth College
Yale University
Columbia University
Duke University
Carnegie Mellon University
University of California, Berkeley

University of Southern California
University of California, Irvine
University of Colorado, Denver
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Vanderbilt University
Texas A&M University