War Of Efficiency: ‘Battle of the Buildings’

In high school, you and your friends faced off in a Battle of the Bands. If you happen to have grown up to become a building manager, you and your friends might now be competing in the Energy Star‘s Battle of the Buildings.

This competition, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently announced the top contenders at the midpoint of the 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings, which pits teams representing buildings nationwide against one another to achieve the greatest percent reduction in energy use in each of 12 categories. The building with the largest percentage reduction (adjusted for weather and the size of the building), will be recognized as the winner in November.

Battle of the Buildings, EPA

image via EPA

The top contenders at this point in the game are as follows: University of Central Florida Garage C (Other), Orlando, Fla., 31 percent; Scientific Instruments (Office), West Palm Beach, Fla., 30 percent; Jackson Creek Middle School (K-12 school), Bloomington, Ind., 26 percent; USE Credit Union (Bank), San Diego, Calif., 20 percent; North Suburban Medical Office Building (Medical Office), Thornton, Colo., 18 percent; Office Depot (Retail Store), Plano, Texas, 17 percent; Hammond U.S. Courthouse (Courthouse), Hammond, Ind., 14 percent; First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (House of Worship), Minneapolis, Minn., 14 percent; St Mark’s Medical Center (Hospital), La Grange, Texas, 10 percent; Norandex (Warehouse), Rochester, N.Y., 8 percent; Kenan Residence Hall at UNC (Dorm), Chapel Hill, N.C., 3 percent; The Colonnade Hotel (Hotel), Boston, Mass., 2%.

All percentage reductions are calculated by EPA’s Energy Star online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, which competitors use to measure and track their building’s monthly energy consumption. According to the EPA, in the first six months of the competition, teams representing 245 buildings around the country have saved more than $3.7 million on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by 2,300 homes annually.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.