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Using the web and data to create competition for green buildings

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The combo of competition, the web and data could be the key to getting more green building technologies, like LED lighting and solar rooftop panels, deployed, according to a new startup called Honest Buildings. The six-month-old company, which plans to officially launch later this month, has created a site that aggregates building and energy info from sources like building owners, green building technology service providers and public databases to create a go-to site that is supposed to create both transparency and an ecosystem around green building technology.

Part of the website will be free and anyone will be able to enter a zipcode into the system and see the green attributes of a building or block. That’s supposed to help create a level of transparency so that building owners will start to feel a sense of competition to keep up with the green Joneses. Potential occupants could look up buildings for rent or sale, and decide to opt for buildings with solar panels or lower energy bills due to energy efficient technologies. Using competition to spur sustainable building tech was the heart of the idea when co-founder and CEO Riggs Kubiak left his real estate job to start the business, says Chief Marketing Officer Joshua Boltuch.

The other part of Honest Buildings will be a premium, subscription service, which will enable green building service providers to engage with building owners. For example, a real estate company could put a request for proposal (RFP) for a new lighting control system or smart energy management system, and the service providers could use the site to participate in the RFP. That will be where the bulk of Honest Building’s revenues come from.

Honest Buildings has raised an angel round of funding from Spring Ventures (the folks behind the CleanWeb phenomenon) as well as Jason Scott, Managing Partner at EKO Asset Management Partners, and The Mesh author Lisa Gansky. The startup will open up its website to the public on March 19.

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