Univ. Central Florida Wins Energy Star ‘Battle of the Buildings’

by | Nov 4, 2011

The University of Central Florida has won the EPA’s 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings.

UCF’s winning building was a parking garage (pictured) on the university’s main campus where energy use was decreased by over 63 percent.

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 LED fixtures and adding motion sensors in the storage areas.

West Palm Beach, Fla., manufacturer Scientific Instruments won the competition’s office category. The company cut its building’s energy use by 42 percent using methods including installing an instantaneous tankless water heater and replacing all inside light bulbs with LED light bulbs.

St. Marks Medical Center in La Grange, Texas, cut its energy consumption by 22 percent and won the hospital category using improvements with virtually zero capital expense. The hospital’s improvements came almost entirely from changing how existing systems were configured and operated.

The overall top ten buildings and their reduction in energy usage are as follows:

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, D.C.    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%

This year’s competition featured 245 buildings across the country. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by $5.2 million, the EPA says.

Last year the competition was won by Morrison Hall at UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina. The building cut its energy use by 36 percent over the course of the 2010 competition.

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