Balfour Beatty Joins DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge

Balfour Beatty Communities L.L.C., a multifamily development and management specialist, has opted to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) and HUD’s Better Buildings Challenge

Newtown Square, Pa.—Balfour Beatty Communities L.L.C., a multifamily development and management specialist, has opted to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) and HUD’s Better Buildings Challenge, an initiative whose goal is significant reductions in both energy consumption and waste across property portfolios. For its part, Balfour Beatty says it will reduce energy consumption at its military, student and multifamily housing—44,000 units in 26 states—by 20 percent over a period of seven years.

With more than 50 million square feet in its housing portfolio, Balfour Beatty becomes the largest multifamily participant in the Better Buildings Challenge. DOE and HUD recently expanded the program to include the multifamily housing sector, as part of the effort to meet goals laid out in President Obama’s National Climate Action Plan. The overall goal of the plan, which was unveiled last summer, is to improve energy efficiency nationwide, and reduce carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020 (compared with 2005 levels).

As a challenge participant, Balfour Beatty will implement strategies to boost energy efficiency, including lighting improvements, heating and cooling system upgrades, rooftop solar systems, and it will also support creative financing for energy retrofits and green construction. As standard operating procedure under the initiative, the company will share best practices and lessons learned with other challenge participants.

The Pennsylvania-based company is no stranger to green initiatives. It has already developed and manages 550 properties within its Balfour Beatty Sustainable Urban Neighborhood portfolio, which will achieve a National Green Building Standard (NGBS) of emerald, utilize renewable energy, and provide educational programs on sustainable living for residents. The NGBS emerald standard requires a minimum of 60 percent above the International Energy Conservation Code (2006).

Balfour Beatty is managing the development of solar on rooftops at its Fort Bliss, Texas, military housing property, a system that could generate as much as 13.2MW by 2016. The company is also evaluating solar panel roof installation at other properties within its military housing portfolio.