This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 18, 2011

Energy Star Building Projects Honored

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on May 12 that 79 commercial building design projects achieved Designed to Earn the Energy Star certification in the past year. In total, the projects are estimated to save nearly 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and more than $7 million in annual energy costs across nearly 6.5 million square feet. Twelve of the projects attained an estimated carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 50% or more, meeting Energy Star, American Institute of Architects (AIA), and industry goals for a 50% carbon dioxide reduction in new construction by 2030. Energy Star is a joint program of DOE and EPA.

EPA estimates that if they are built as designed, the projects will prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from more than 54,000 vehicles per year and will save more than $26 million in annual energy costs. For the past several years, EPA and AIA have worked together to promote the Designed to Earn the Energy Star certification for new building design projects. An architecture firm can achieve the certification for its projects by comparing the project's intended energy performance against the average energy use of comparable operating buildings using EPA's online tool Target Finder. Once the building is occupied, owners can track its actual energy performance using Portfolio Manager, EPA's measurement and tracking tool, and can earn Energy Star certification if the building performs as planned. See the EPA press release.