WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) initiative with the goal of increasing the energy efficiency of selected new and existing buildings. With money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, DOE’s national laboratories will select and fund technical experts to provide technical guidance to commercial building owners and operators.

DOE’s CBP initiative will foster collaborative relationships among the owners and operators of commercial buildings, researchers from DOE national laboratories, and private-sector technical experts. Building owners will receive technical expertise on how to design, build, and maintain low-energy buildings to reduce energy use and lower energy bills across their building portfolios. The collaborations are designed to help move energy-saving strategies into the marketplace quickly and cost effectively. Each of the CBP building projects will be documented in publicly available case studies that will provide detailed energy use data and best practices to other building operators across the country.

Three DOE national laboratories are managing this new effort: the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.; and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

Applicants can apply through the laboratories for the following two initiatives:

• Call for Energy Efficient Commercial Building Projects

To get involved, owners and operators of commercial buildings - retail and office buildings, for example - must submit plans for projects that will upgrade new or existing buildings, and they commit to working with the laboratories and technical experts to make these buildings significantly more energy efficient. Although they receive no direct funding, owners and operators have access to state-of-the-art technical guidance to implement energy efficiency technologies throughout the design, construction, and evaluation of their building and retrofit projects. This technical expertise includes guidance with energy modeling, assessing, and choosing appropriate energy efficiency measures, and energy performance verification.

Online applications to the call for projects are due by May 10, 2010. To learn more about the call for projects and access the application, go to https://www.nrel.gov/ap/commercial_building_partners/call_projects.cfm.

• Request for Proposals from Commercial Building Technical Experts

Technical expert teams and measurement and verification technical contractors interested in providing technical guidance to the successful applicants to the call for projects can respond to this request for proposals (RFP). Technical expert teams need to provide a broad range of technical expertise including all or some of the following areas: architecture, engineering, HVAC and controls, daylighting, lighting, energy modeling, commissioning, building auditing and data collection, and cost estimation. Using Recovery Act funding, the participating national laboratories will contract with technical experts to provide this guidance.

Completed proposals are due by May 10, 2010. To learn more about this opportunity and read the request for proposals, go to http://cbp-forum.lbl.gov/.

More information on the Commercial Building Partnerships initiative is also available at www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/commercial_initiative/building_partnerships.html.

Publication date: 05/03/2010