The Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) prompted by Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative, which was announced in 2011, aims to promote greener buildings, namely by reducing the buildings’ energy consumption by 20 percent come 2020. In addition, the initiative will also create more jobs and generate more revenue.
Until December, 2013, the BBC was only open to the business sector: building owners, banks, universities, and local governments, among others. Now, Obama has expanded the BBC to include multifamily housing owners, of apartments and condos alike, in an effort to continue promoting a better building for a better future.
More than 400 manufacturing facilities from hundreds of eligible partners have committed to the BBC. They have also committed over 3 billion square feet of land and $2 billion in financing.
With the expansion of the BBC, the number of challenge partners and allies has nowhere to go but up. Monitoring a swelling number of participants can’t be easy, even with simple database software in use. However, a more important matter exists, one almost synonymous with good governance: transparency.
Government-sponsored contests like the BBC are a good way to promote transparency within the public sector. People will want to know whether or not their hard-earned money, paid as taxes, is going where it’s supposed to go. Obama cited transparency as one of his first agendas, issuing the Open Government Directive in 2009.
In the BBC’s case, one of the prizes includes a tax incentive for energy reduction. Buildings that manage to cut energy costs by 20 percent are entitled to credits of $0.60 per square foot. It’s important for government agencies to exercise transparency when hosting competitions and other events, something good contest management software like Skild can help with.
Contest application platforms revolutionize contest management by providing accurate analytics while making them easy to use. As their accuracy reduces the likelihood of fraud, these platforms are ideal for promoting transparency within the public sector. In a society that expresses distrust for the Web, transparency is more essential than ever.
(Article information from “Obama Administration Expands Better Buildings Challenge to Multifamily Housing, Launches New Programs to Boost U.S. Energy Efficiency,” U.S. Department of Energy, December 3, 2013)