Cisco, Duke Energy envision green buildings in Charlotte

Cisco and Duke Energy are collaborating to make commercial buildings in downtown Charlotte, N.C. more energy-efficient.

Cisco, Duke Energy and Charlotte Center City Partners are collaborating to make commercial buildings in downtown Charlotte, N.C. more energy-efficient.

The public-private project, called Envision: Charlotte, was announced this morning at the Clinton Global Initiative by mayor Anthony Foxx, Cisco CEO John Chambers, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rodgers and former president Bill Clinton, among others.

Its focus: reduce energy that is wasted in commercial buildings within Charlotte's roughly two-square-mile "urban core." The task will be met with an array of digital smart grid and building automation technologies to collect data in near-real-time and encourage changes in consumer behavior.

The plan is to partner with the owners of roughly 60 commercial buildings in the city, who collectively control more than 15 million square feet within the area, called "the inter-loop."

It costs nothing to participate -- Duke and Cisco will foot the $5.3 million bill in an 80/20 split.

So who's based in America's 18th-largest city? Organizations such as:

  • Bank of America (7 million sq. ft.)
  • Wells Fargo (3 million sq. ft.)
  • City of Charlotte (1.4 million sq. ft.)
  • Duke Energy (1.3 million sq. ft.)

The ultimate goal: reduce energy use by as much as 20 percent by 2016, the equivalent of about 220,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, the companies say.

Better still, the project could be a blueprint for copycat endeavors in other urban areas.

Here's a video about the project:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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