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

November 16, 2011

Energy Star National Building Contest Names Winner

Photo of the facade of a brick parking garage.

The University of Central Florida won the EPA National Building Contest by cutting energy use 63% in one year at a campus parking garage.
Credit: EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on November 2 that the University of Central Florida 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 across the country, 245 buildings, in a head-to-head battle to save energy, reduce costs, and protect people's health and the environment. The winning building was a main-campus parking garage where energy use was decreased by 63.2% over 12 months from September 1, 2010, through August 31, 2011. This year's pool of competitors was nearly 18 times as large as the first field and covered 33 states and the District of Columbia. Energy Star is a joint program of DOE and EPA.

From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, the competitors saved 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. Buildings ranged from structures more than 100 years old to ones built in the past three years. Competitors tracked their building's monthly energy consumption using EPA's Energy Star online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) focused their efforts on improving the quality and efficiency of the garage lighting. Improvements included upgrading the main garage to high performance fluorescent lights, retrofitting the top deck with light emitting diode fixtures, and adding motion sensors in storage areas. In addition to cutting their energy use, UCF reduced their lighting bill for the parking garage by more than half due to improvements made during the competition. UCF is now spreading their successful strategies, as well as savings, to other buildings across the campus. See the EPA press release and the Battle of the Buildings website.