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3,000+ Buildings Compete in EPA Battle

Monday, August 26, 2013

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What do the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, FL, a Catholic cathedral and rectory in Seattle, New York City’s historic 100 Park Avenue building, and Busch Stadium—home of the St. Louis Cardinals, have in common?

All are among more than 3,000 commercial buildings looking to shed energy usage as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 Energy Star National Building Competition.

Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
Hard Rock Hotels

Designed in the California mission-style architecture, the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, FL, is competing in the 2013 Battle of the Buildings contest. The hotel features include 650 guest rooms, five restaurants and lounges, a fitness center, and a 12,000-square-foot pool.

The “Battle of the Buildings” pits teams across the country against each other to see who can reduce their buildings’ energy usage by the largest percentage.

Throughout the competition, the buildings will likely be retrofitted to include a variety of energy-efficient building technologies, such as building-envelope technologies, lighting upgrades and solar panel installations.

The winner will be announced in April 2014, EPA says.

Target: Commercial Buildings

The competition specifically targets wasted energy in commercial buildings and motivates businesses to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and save money, EPA said in announcing the fourth annual contest.

“Battle of the Buildings is a great opportunity for businesses to save money while reducing carbon pollution that contributes to climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Busch Stadium
Mdglazerman / Wikimedia Commons

Busch Stadium, a 46,000 seat retro-style downtown St. Louis ballpark, is also competing in the EPA contest. The stadium is home to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“These are the kinds of smart, innovative solutions that are going to help solve the environmental challenges we face today.”

Commercial buildings in the U.S. are responsible for approximately 20 percent of both the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion annually.

Competition Grows

The number of participants in the Battle of the Buildings has increased from 14 buildings in 2010—the competition’s first year—to more than 3,200 buildings in 2013, EPA announced.

Demarest Elementary School in Bloomfield, NJ, won the 2012 EPA Energy Star Battle of the Buildings competition by chopping some 52 percent off its energy usage. For more information on last year's winner, see NJ School Deemed 'Biggest Loser'.

Dearborn Elementary
Scott Collins, Bloomfield School District / EPA

The Demarest Elementary School in Bloomfield, NJ, slashed 52 percent of its energy usage to win the 2012 EPA Energy Star Battle of the Buildings. The school was up against 3,000 other buildings.

Altogether, last year’s competitors cut their energy costs by more than $50 million and reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 43,000 homes, according to the EPA.

More than 25 different types of commercial buildings are facing off in this year’s Energy Star National Building Competition, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A full list of the competitors is available here.

Contest Details
 
Competitors will measure and track their buildings’ monthly energy consumption using Portfolio Manager, EPA's Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, and work over the year to cut energy waste through improvements that range from equipment replacement to changes in occupant behavior.

Midpoint results will be posted in December, with the winner announced in April 2014, EPA says.
 
EPA features a list of the competitors and their weigh-in results on the Energy Star website, a live Twitter feed where competitors will post updates on their progress, an interactive map of the competitors’ locations, and a user-generated photo stream where competitors can upload pictures of their energy-saving efforts.

More information: www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.
 

   

Tagged categories: Building envelope; Building owners; Contests; Energy codes; Energy efficiency; Energy Star; EPA; Retrofits

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