WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the second annual Better Buildings Case Competition, which challenges university teams to develop and present real-world business and technical solutions to cut energy waste and improve the efficiency of commercial buildings. The winners included Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Chicago, and Yale University.

This year, 14 university teams analyzed case studies focusing on a range of challenges faced by private-sector organizations and state and local governments who are looking to improve the energy efficiency of their operations. The case studies consisted of real scenarios, background information, and data provided by organizations that included partners in the Better Buildings Challenge program — a public-private partnership working to make America's commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020.

This year, student teams competed to find the best solutions to energy efficiency challenges presented in real-world case studies for the city of Fort Worth, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, the U.S. General Services Administration, and the “Everything Store,” representative of several retail stores including Kohl’s, Staples, and Target.

The following university teams won their respective competitions:

• City of Fort Worth Case Study: Students developed strategies to help the city and local utilities and industry work together to achieve the Better Building Challenge goal to make commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.

Best Proposal — Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Most Innovative — Carnegie Mellon University

• Energy Efficient Buildings (EEB) Hub Case Study: Students examined strategies for the EEB Hub to help Montgomery County, Pa., complete a renovation that achieves significant energy savings in a publicly-owned, multitenant office building.

Best Proposal — Yale University

Most Innovative — University of California-Santa Barbara

• “Everything Store” Case Study: Students recommended criteria for selecting among potential options to increase cooling efficiency in big box retail stores by upgrading rooftop unit technology.

Best Proposal — Carnegie Mellon University

Most Innovative — Massachusetts Institute of Technology

• U.S. General Services Administration Case Study: Students proposed strategies for energy metering and measurement to meet federal savings goals in government buildings across the United States.

Best Proposal — Yale University

Most Innovative — University of Chicago

Publication date: 3/25/2013