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DGS Rebrands

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Data-driven tool promotes greater access to and understanding of energy use

Media Contact: Kenneth Diggs (202) 580-9361

(Washington DC) — The newly rebranded BuildSmart DC website defines its clear mission — More data. Less carbon. Zero excuses — and employs clean design to emerge as a more powerful, transparent, and user-friendly portal. The site allows District of Columbia residents, visitors, building managers, and private sector partners to visualize energy usage in the City’s buildings and use the data as a tool to reduce the impact of the built environment on the District’s climate.

“It is imperative that we change how we look at our everyday environments and adjust our behavior to acknowledge that the reduction of atmospheric CO2 is now the only thing that truly matters,” said Mark Chambers, Department of General Services’ Sustainability and Energy Management director.

“Using BuildSmart DC’s open data to educate the 100,000 people moving through the City’s buildings every day about their energy use not only makes economic sense, it throws the gauntlet down for the private sector to do the same,” Chambers added.

The revamped website ( and tracking system details and shares downloadable energy consumption information for every District-owned and -managed facility in the City. This robust system is built on thousands of data points that are captured and assessed in near real time, creating an enormous opportunity for the District and its partners to adjust and manage its energy consumption citywide.

The BuildSmart DC website, designed by DC-based interactive agency, Threespot, with data analytics provided by New City Energy, enhances the user experience of this collaborative and accountable environment for building energy performance.

“Threespot has long counted both community stewardship and global sustainability as two of our core values. Working with Mark and his team at DGS presented us the ideal opportunity to put those values into action,” said Co-founder and COO, Bill Barbot. “Turning abstract data into meaningful, actionable stories about energy conservation for our community was enormously rewarding for our team.”

To showcase the kind of behavior change the tool is trying to promote, after the Memorial Day holiday, users to can review their building’s energy data and should see a dip in the amount of energy used at their facility on that day versus a typical, non-holiday Monday, Chambers said. “If buildings aren’t turning off when they’re empty, that’s a problem, and we want to know about it,” he said.

About The Department of General Services

The mission of the Department of General Services is to elevate the quality of life for the District with superior construction, first-rate maintenance and expert real estate management. By building and maintaining safe and green state-of-the-art facilities that foster economic growth and elevate educational environments, our trusted and skillful employees create modern and vibrant communities across the District of Columbia.