Partners: Slipstream, Southface, Illinois Green Alliance, Environmental Defense Fund
The BIT Building Neighborhood project is assessing the effect of using the BIT Building Standard as the basis for a workforce training program and the impacts it may have on the energy efficiency of multi-family buildings in income eligible communities.
The project applies BIT Building practices to unite energy efficiency and workforce development in income eligible communities. BIT Building is a set of cost-effective industry standards for existing buildings that enables all types of commercial and multi-family residential property owners and operators to adopt high-performance best practices. Ten individuals were recruited and trained to serve as energy performance improvement coaches, called BIT Aides, using the BIT Building curriculum.
In addition to training BIT Aides, the project team recruited 40 Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) buildings to participate in benchmarking their energy, air quality, water and waste performance, and seek opportunity for improvements. The BIT Aides also assist CHA building operators in making operational improvements that generate energy savings and support owners/operators through utility energy efficiency incentive application processes. Slipstream is assisting BIT Aides in collecting operational and energy usage data for each building and created a robust measurement and verification strategy to understand the project's overall impact on energy use over time.
Three BIT Aides were hired from a pool of 10 trainees who completed the BIT Building curriculum to support the CHA and their BIT Building benchmarking and improvement process. The BIT Aides are benchmarking 40 CHA buildings and developing plans to proceed with building audits either virtually or in-person, depending on guidance provided by the Cook County Department of Public Health and the CHA.