Environmental Protection

14 Buildings Compete for Energy Efficiency Bragging Rights

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has chosen 14 commercial buildings that will compete in the first national energy efficiency contest. The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be declared the winner at the agency's final weigh-in on Oct. 26.

The agency received nearly 200 applications for the National Building Competition. Judges will score the competitors on their energy performance from Sept. 1, 2009 to Aug. 31, 2010. The energy use of each building is being monitored with EPA’s Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager.

“It’s time for buildings to tighten their belts and we’re happy to help them go on an energy diet,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for air and radiation. “Cutting energy use will reduce their monthly expenses and their carbon footprint, showing that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand.”

The National Building Competition contestants are:

    In Virginia

  • 1525 Wilson Boulevard Building, Arlington,
  • Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach
    In North Carolina

  • Morrison Residence Hall at UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill
  • Tucker Residence Hall at North Carolina State University, Raleigh
    In California

  • Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown, San Diego
  • JCPenney Store 1778, Orange County, Calif.

  • In Other States

  • 522 Fifth Avenue Building, New York, N.Y.
  • Crystal River Elementary School, Carbondale, Colo.
  • Maplewood Mall, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Memorial Arts Building at the Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Sears, Glen Burnie, Md.
  • Sheraton Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas
  • Solon Family Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Van Holten Primary School, Bridgewater, N.J.

The competition Web site will provide profiles of each contestant and chronicle their progress as well as feature advice from EPA and leading building efficiency specialists. Each building will also participate in mid-point and final contest weigh-ins and the results will be posted online.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. On average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with the EPA’s Energy Star program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere each year.

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