Congratulations to the University of Central Florida (UCF), who, from a field of 245 participants, emerged as the winner of EPAs 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. Their winning building was a parking garage where energy efficiency improvements reduced consumption by more than 63 percent and saved almost $35,000 in energy costs.
In an above-ground parking structure, lighting accounts for the bulk of energy consumption, so UCF focused their efforts on improving the efficiency of the interior and exterior garage lighting. The main garage lighting was upgraded to high-performance T-5 fluorescent lights, the top deck was retrofitted with LED fixtures, and motion sensors were added in the storage areas. The payback period for this project is expected to be about two years, and the University is also undertaking energy saving measures in other campus buildings.
Other top finishers included Scientific Instruments, winner in the office category, where a variety of energy reduction strategies were employed, such as painting the rooftop with a solar reflective coating, installing weather stripping, installing a tankless water heater, and replacing all inside light bulbs with LEDs. Top honors in the warehouse and distribution category went to Weber State University (Utah), where measures such as turning off lights that were not being used and using only skylight illumination on the sunniest days resulted in an energy reduction of 6.3 percent.
The top overall finishers and their percent-based reductions in energy use include:
- University of Central Florida, Parking Garage C, Orlando, Fla. 63.2%
- Twinsburg High School and Sports Complex, Twinsburg, Ohio 46.3%
- Polaris Career Center, Middleburg Heights, Ohio 43.4%
- Hartman Elementary School, Wylie, Texas 43.2%
- Scientific Instruments, West Palm Beach, Fla. 42.2%
- Fannie Mae Office Building, 3939 Wisconsin Ave., Washington, District of Columbia 34.6%
- Office Depot, Plano, Texas 34.1%
- North Suburban Medical Office Building, Thornton, Colo. 33.7%
- Office Depot, Raleigh, N.C. 33.1%
- Kokomo High School, Kokomo, Ind. 32.3%
Overall, participants in the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition saved $5.2 million on their utility bills.