Winners of the 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition declared

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that the University of Central Florida (UCF) is the winner of EPA’s 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. In its second year, the competition featured teams from 245 buildings across the country in a head-to-head battle to save energy, reduce costs, and protect people’s health and the environment. UCF’s winning building was a parking garage where energy use was decreased by 63.2 percent. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by $5.2 million.

From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, the competitors saved a combined total of more than 240 million kBtus of energy and $5.2 million on utility bills annually. Competitors reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 3,600 homes. The top overall finishers and their percent-based reductions in energy use include:

  • University of Central Florida, Parking Garage C, Orlando, Florida – 63.2 percent.
  • Twinsburg High School and Sports Complex, Twinsburg, Ohio – 46.3 percent.
  • Polaris Career Center, Middleburg Heights, Ohio – 43.4 percent.
  • Hartman Elementary School, Wylie, Texas – 43.2 percent.
  • Scientific Instruments, West Palm Beach, Florida – 42.2 percent.
  • Fannie Mae Office Building, 3939 Wisconsin Ave., Washington, District of Columbia – 34.6 percent.
  • North Suburban Medical Office Building, Thornton, Colorado – 33.7 percent.
  • Office Depot, Raleigh, North Carolina – 33.1 percent.
  • Kokomo High School, Kokomo, Indiana – 32.3 percent.

The energy efficiency improvements achieved by UCF demonstrate that opportunities exist to save energy even in buildings that are not typically associated with sizeable energy use. Lighting accounts for the majority of energy consumed by an above-ground parking structure, therefore UCF focused their efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of the garage lighting. Improvements included upgrading the main garage to high performance T-5 fluorescent lights, retrofitting the top deck with light emitting diode (LEDs) fixtures, and adding motion sensors in the storage areas.

The 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition measured energy performance from September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2011. Competitors tracked their building’s monthly energy consumption using EPA’s Energy Star online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. UCF won the competition by demonstrating the largest percent-reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and the size of the building. The energy use intensity and square footage for each top overall finisher was verified by an independently licensed professional engineer or registered architect at the conclusion of the competition. This marks the second year a university has won the competition.