Energy Secretary Steven Chu recognized the winners of the Better Buildings Case Competition — a competition that challenges collegiate students to develop and present real-world solutions to boost the energy efficiency of buildings across the country — at a White House event on Friday, March 2. An MIT student team picked up awards for "Most Innovative" and "Best Proposal" for their work on two of the four case studies.
As part of the competition, students analyzed four case studies — using real-world scenarios and data provided by partners in the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge — to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Chu announced the winners for each case study, based on two categories — most innovative solution and best proposal.
MIT won the following awards:
Cassidy Turley case study
Best Proposal award
This team proposed four steps to improve the energy efficiency of a multitenant office building, including engaging and negotiating with tenants in the realistic, multiphase project, implementing energy efficiency upgrades, aligning new tenants as leases turn over, and launching a “Go for Green” program. Their solution demonstrated understanding of commercial real estate realities and the motivations of an owner and tenants.
District of Columbia case study
Most Innovative award
This team demonstrated a clear understanding of energy efficiency issues and proposed integrated approaches that would drive energy and water efficiency. They proposed a district energy system based on a build-own-and-operate service model to provide energy, manage the distribution system and interface with customers. The proposed financing for the system would come from the provider or through a lender, instead of by issuing revenue bonds.