This paper explores the role of international partnerships to facilitate low-energy building design, construction, and operations. We present the strategic approach, joint research and development outcomes, and implementation activities of a unique U.S.-India program on buildings energy efficiency, the Center for Building Energy Research and Development. We discuss the collaboration successes in both countries despite their dissimilar building contexts, implementation challenges and opportunities. We highlight a range of R&D outcomes, such as novel tools and technologies developed and tested by the joint teams, with their technical energy savings potential, as well as results of capacity building and technology demonstrations. A deep-dive into key new scientific methods around building energy monitoring and benchmarking that could have a significant impact on high-performance of buildings in both countries is also provided. Finally, in addition to joint R&D successes, pathways to deployment, and lessons learned are discussed as key takeaways.