The Alliance to Save Energy opened the tenth annual Energy Efficiency Global Forum Monday in Washington, D.C., and the group released a blueprint for significantly increasing building efficiency by focusing on building systems.

Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, opens the EE Global Forum on Monday in Washington, D.C.

The alliance worked with more than 50 companies and organizations to develop the blueprint. It includes a call to action for buildings sector stakeholders to work together to achieve greater gains in the efficiency of buildings. It’s the second report of the alliance’s Systems Efficiency Initiative (SEI), which seeks to capitalize on new technologies allowing smarter interactions of components between various building systems, as well as interactions among multiple buildings, and between the building and the electric grid.

“We’ve known for years that while we need to continue making progress on the efficiency of individual components in buildings, we can’t meet our goals without also looking at buildings holistically and taking a systems approach,” said alliance president Kateri Callahan of the systems efficiency report. “It’s time we move from the discussion phase to execution, and that’s what this blueprint is intended to do.”

The blueprint offers a range of actions designed to boost building performance and achieve other benefits, such as improved resilience. It features 84 specific recommendations for Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, utilities and building professionals.

The plan has recommendations for improved daylighting, as well as for dynamic and passive integrated facades that encourage the use of highly insulated windows. Additionally, it encourages the use of integrated project delivery, in which all of the teams involved in constructing a building to work together beginning at the earliest stages of design and continuing until the building is finished. It also urges building codes to shift from prescriptive requirements that inform performance requirements to one in which building system performance is the starting point and prescriptive options are developed based on measurable performance criteria.

EP100 Adds Two New Partners

In partnership with the Climate Group, the Alliance also announced that two new companies – H&M, a multinational clothing retail company, and Cree, a U.S.-based LED lighting and technology company – are joining EP100, the global initiative of businesses that have pledged to double their energy productivity. The EP100 premiered at the 2016 EE Global Forum.

H&M and its related companies have more than 4,000 physical locations around the world.

“Using less energy and increasing our economic output is a fundamental part of our strategy,” said Pierre Borjesson, the global sustainability business expert for H&M. “We have long been working to reduce our climate impact and recently launched our new commitment to achieve a climate positive value chain by 2040. This means H&M will support reductions of greenhouse gases to a larger extent than what our value chain emits. Two of our key priorities are leadership in energy productivity and using renewable energy throughout the value chain.”

EE Global features more than 400 industry leaders from nearly 30 countries. The event continues through Tuesday.