Energy efficient buildings are eligible for Energy Star certification, it’s true. But the Environmental Protection Agency has an award just for energy efficient architectural plans called Designed to Earn Energy Star, and recently, the agency announced that 79 commercial building design projects have taken this honor in the past year.
This announcement came recently at the at the American Institute of Architects Convention in New Orleans, where Al Armendariz, EPA Regional Administrator, was quoted as saying, “Those acknowledged today show great commitment to preserving the environment and reducing the carbon footprint.”
Among the projects honored was The Community Church Unitarian Universalist in New Orleans, designed by Brian Gille Architects, the first house of worship to achieve Designed to Earn the Energy Star certification. All told, if all 79 projects that took this certification are built as designed, the EPA estimates they’ll save the nation more than $26 million in annual energy costs over conventionally constructed buildings.
Architecture firms interested in achieving this certification can compare project’s intended energy performance against the average energy use of comparable buildings using EPA’s free online tool, Target Finder.