Engagement Platforms

Market Change Through Stakeholder Engagement

Event facilitation led by Leslie Billhymer, Stakeholder Engagement Project Manager at CBEI

To meet its goal of market transformation, CBEI must engage stakeholders, assess market strengths and weaknesses, and streamline retrofitting initiatives. “Engagement Platforms” – forums that bring together stakeholders and CBEI investigators to develop, test, and deploy CBEI initiatives – are an important part of the Hub’s approach. The Platforms allow CBEI researchers to work directly with local stakeholders, a strategy CBEI practitioners expect to increase the likelihood that members of the commercial building and energy community will adopt CBEI’s innovative approaches.

Each Platform consists of about two dozen stakeholders with common interests and expertise.  At present, there are five Platforms: Building Owners, Operators, and Occupants (OOO); Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Managers (AEC); Retrofit Suppliers; Retrofit Workforce, Educators, and Trainers; and Banking, Finance and Real Estate Professionals. CBEI plans to introduce an Engagement Platform centered on building data. Each Platform contains of a mix of professionals, firms, and skills. Platforms are led by CBEI researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, United Technologies Research Center, Penn State, and Bayer Material and co-chaired by local building industry professionals.

Over the course of a year, Platform members attend three to four workshops. At these workshops, members are presented with tools and content developed by the Hub and weigh in on issues that influence their ability to carry out retrofits. For example, members of the Building Owners, Operators, and Occupants Platform convened in June 2012, to share their insights on green lease and energy-aligned lease strategies, which were developed to address the ubiquitous split incentives problem. In October 2012, over twenty-five members of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Platform met to learn about the integrated design process for a medium-sized building, Building 661 at the Navy Yard, and to share their impressions of the advantages and limitations of integrated design.

CBEI held a kickoff event for Engagement Platforms on May 1-2, 2012, bringing together members from all five groups. Participants identified the most promising opportunities for catalyzing energy efficient retrofits in the Philadelphia region; a summary of this cross-Platform event is available on the CBEI website, where you can also learn more about the Stakeholder Engagement Platforms.

CBEI tests and pilots research and tools for advanced energy retrofits in the region using the Platform members as expert reviewers and as a first external audience for Hub content and inquiry. This process is essential to CBEI success, as it ensures that interactions with the market are effective.

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