A highly insulated new spray foam roof and insulated EIFS walls are giving a federal building a big lead in the first year-long competition to find the most energy-efficient facility.
The Department of the Army’s Boatwright Maintenance Park Building 2770 in Fort Knox, KY, is the current front runner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2012 Better Buildings Federal Award program, with an energy use intensity reduction of 46.7% since the competition started in last fall.
The facility’s percentage energy-intensity (Btu per square foot of facility space) savings for the year, along with those of seven other finalists, is being tracked publicly and updated on the DOE’s website.
The maintenance warehouse’s aged roof with deteriorated R-7 insulation was replaced with a spray foam roof with R-20 rating, according to the project details. The existing concrete masonry walls were insulated with EIFS that features an R-13 rating. Other areas of improvement included upgrading windows, sealing existing doors, and other mechanical upgrades.
DOE will select a winner of the competition after September 2012, according to the website.
The Department of Interior’s Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, NM, is currently in second place, with a 30.3% reduction in energy usage. That facility’s improvements include rewiring lighting and resetting HVAC control system software, among others.
In a close third, the General Services Administration’s Neal Smith Federal Building in Des Moines, IA, stands at 27.1% energy usage reduction. Upgrades include installation of advanced metering of all building energy and water and a mechanical system redesign.
A green-roof installation and a new highly reflective thermoplastic polyolefin single-ply roof have helped the GSA’s Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center in Atlanta, GA, drop 26.1% in energy use intensity. The building is currently ranked fourth in the competition.
The Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories Building 753 in Albuquerque, NM, ranked fifth, has decreased energy usage by 16% by installing a new HVAC system and occupancy sensors.
Rooftop solar panels and advanced metering of all energy and water sources have helped the GSA’s Frank Carlson Federal Building and Courthouse in Topeka, KS, decrease energy usage by 15.7%. The building is in sixth place.
The Department of Defense and Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Fort Hood Warrior Way Convenience Store in Fort Hood, TX, is ranked seventh, with a 13.9% reduction in energy use intensity through various improvements, including HVAC control upgrades and an extensive building management system.
Rounding out the head-to-head building competition is the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Public Debt Avery Street Building in Parkersburg, WV. The office facility has actually increased energy use intensity by 26.3% since the competition started last October. The facility’s energy-reduction improvements include the use of a rubber membrane roof, a re-engineered building automation system and new window tinting.
Call for 2013 Entries
DOE recently began accepting nominations for its 2013 Better Buildings Federal Award.
Submissions are due Sept. 7.
The year-long competition challenges agencies across the country to achieve the greatest reduction in annual energy intensity or energy consumed per square foot and will honor the federal building that achieves the greatest savings.
The DOE selects finalists for the competition based on energy-efficiency measures deployed in the facility, best practices in energy management undertaken by facility personnel, and institutional change programs used to encourage sustainability efforts within the facility, the agency said.
The finalists represent a range of building types, sizes, and agency functions.
The competition is a part of the Obama Administration's Better Buildings Initiative, which challenges the private and public sector to make rapid investments to improve energy efficiency in America’s buildings by 20% over the next decade.
More information and to nominate: Better Building Federal Award.