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Success Stories: Battle of the Buildings

September 2, 2014 | 0 comments

Earlier this year, the ENERGY STAR National Building Competition – Battle of the Buildings – encouraged teams from more than 3,000 commercial buildings across all 50 states to compete for the greatest increase in energy efficiency.

All in all, National Building Competition participants saved more than $20 million in utility bills by reducing total energy usage by more than 900 million kBtus. Nearly 50 buildings demonstrated energy-use reductions of 20% or greater in one year. Here are a few of their success stories …

Success Story #1: Claiborne Elementary School
Claiborne Elementary School, a 100,892-square-foot school in Baton Rouge, LA, was named the winner when it cut its energy use nearly in half (45.9%). Students and teachers identified actions they could take to save energy: adjust thermostats, close doors and windows when the HVAC is running, turn off lights, shut off electronic devices at the end of each day, etc. The school’s biggest increase in energy savings came from adjusting the scheduling and automation of HVAC and lighting controls.

Success Story #2: Hillside Center II
Hillside Center II, owned by First Potomac Realty Trust in Columbia, MD, installed variable air volume (VAV) boxes for its HVAC system as the building’s top energy-efficiency project. This investment helped the building achieve 37.1% in total energy savings. The system controls the amount of constant-temperature air that’s in a room in order to heat or cool to meet that space’s conditions. Hillside’s team also replaced parking lot lighting and wall fixtures with LEDs.

Success Story #3: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Bioinformatics Building
This 15,000-square-foot, six-story office building is home to the Department of Ophthalmology faculty and staff. The team reduced energy savings by 35.8% by upgrading from pneumatic to direct digital VAV controls, and reprogramming the air-handler unit control systems. An in-house facility engineer, along with the help of maintenance staff, also re-commissioned the building’s HVAC system to meet current building needs.

Success Story #4: Eastman Chemical Company
Manufacturer of Vista Window Film, three Eastman office buildings in Kingsport, TN, finished #3, #4, and #9 in the office buildings category. All three facilities finished in the top 1% of buildings, as well as in the top 1% in the office buildings category. To increase energy efficiency, we held an internal energy-saving competition between employees in two side-by-side, identical office buildings. A third building occupied by the corporate energy staff also participated. Simple but powerful changes like turning off lights at the end of the workday, using limited lighting when possible, and powering down computers and other equipment when not in use helped us reduce our energy bills. We also upgraded to more efficient lighting and reduced air intake during night hours.

To see which buildings near you are participating in the ENERGY STAR Battle of the Buildings Challenge, check out this interactive map.

Did you participate in the 2013 Battle of the Buildings? Do you plan to this year? Why or why not?


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