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Better Buildings Case Competition

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Jason Koman (Energy Technology Program Specialist, U.S. Department of Energy), Kinga Porst (Sustainability and Green Buildings Program Advisor at U.S. General Services Administration), David Danielson (Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy), Jim Nobil (CEO Washington Commercial Properties, Inc.), Ron Hachey (Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy), Marshall Duer-Balkind (Energy Benchmarking Specialist, District Department of the Environment).

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(1st picture): A crowd of students and judges engage in an "Emerging Policies" panel discussion at the 2013 BBCC. (2nd picture): 2012 BBCC winners from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology meet with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. (3rd picture): 2013 BBCC judges, Tari Emerson, Kohl's Department Store; Bob Valair, Staples; and Pat Maher, Burton Energy Group, converse with students.

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Mona Khalil (Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy). Casey Bell (Senior Economic Analyst and Finance Policy Lead at American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy), Mark Stutman (Advanced Energy Retrofit Project Development Manager at The Pennsylvania State University), David Danielson (Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy), Laurie Actman (Interim Director at Energy Efficient Buildings Hub), Kenneth Starr (Director of Assets & Infrastructure at Montgomery County, Pennsylvania).

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(1st picture): A crowd of students and judges engage in a panel discussion at the 2013 BBCC. (2nd picture): Secretary of Energy Steven Chu prepares for his address to students at the 2012 BBCC. (3rd picture): Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Kaitlin Goldstein asks a question to the panel at the 2013 BBCC.

Better Buildings Case Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) annual Better Buildings Case Competition engages the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and policymakers to develop creative solutions to real-world energy efficiency problems for businesses and other organizations across the marketplace. Through the competition, interdisciplinary teams of university students gain critical skills and experience to start careers in clean energy. Since its launch in 2012, the competition has supported the Obama Administration’s Better Buildings Initiative goal to reduce energy consumption by at least 20% by 2020 in commercial and industrial buildings across the U.S.

The 2014 Better Buildings Case Competition will target an array of complex challenges across multiple industries, such as data access, tenant engagement, equipment replacement, business models and more. This year’s competition will be restructured to allow for greater creativity in teams' solutions and enhance the career development and industry engagement aspects. Each case will describe a challenge that is endemic to the industry based on input from multiple industry partners, rather than providing a specific problem faced by a single case partner. This will give student teams greater flexibility in developing innovative and broadly applicable solutions.

This year’s final event will be held at the DOE campus, and will include many opportunities for participating students. The event will serve as a high-profile platform where students can showcase their most creative ideas and solutions, receive feedback from the judges, and interact directly with industry and government leaders. Finalists will receive recognition at the official Washington, DC awards ceremony and be featured on the DOE website, and will receive additional high-profile speaking engagements and other prizes. In addition, all participants will be eligible for career development and employment opportunities. Please send questions to

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