By Jodi Summers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has picked 14 commercial buildings for their first national energy efficiency contest – and two of the finalists are in Southern California. Kudos to the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown – San Diego, CA and JCPenney Store # 1778 – Orange, CA will be competing with 12 other commercial structures around the country to best streamline their energy usage and be heralded the winner.
Two hundred buildings entered the competition, which will run through October 26, 2010. Fourteen finalists were chosen for undisclosed reasons. (Meet the contenders @ http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=buildingcontest..contestants)
Each entrant was tagged with an energy use intensity (EUI) number portraying the building’s energy use. A building’s EUI is calculated by taking the total energy consumed in one year (measured in kBtu) and dividing it by the total floorspace of the building. The winner is the one who lowers their EUI by the greatest percentage. Obviously a candidate such as the Van Holten Primary School – Bridgewater, NJ (EUI 150) will use relatively little energy (particularly when school’s out) compared to the Solon Family Health Center in Cleveland, OH (EUI 318) or an office building 522 5th Avenue – New York, NY (EUI 242) . Each building will be judged on the percentage of reduction they achieve in their EUI.
The nominees will measure and track their building’s monthly energy consumption using Portfolio Manager, the EPA’s online energy tracking tool. The building that demonstrates the greatest percentage-based reduction through October 26th will be recognized as the winner.
Now, a little about our local contestants –
The team name for the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown is “Money in the Bank” – appropriately named because the hotel is located in the historic San Diego Trust & Savings Bank building in the city’s Gaslamp district. Ten years ago, the building went through a spectacular adaptive reuse, transitioning from a bank and office building to the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown San Diego hotel with 245 guest rooms. The 1920s bank building has guest rooms and common areas retrofitted with efficient sensors and technology. The hotel lists four reasons why it is important for it to save energy, money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions: 1) Its guests expect it, 2) Its owners require it, 3) Its employees know it is the right thing to do, and 4) It owes it to their community. MSD’s starting EUI is 162.
JCPenney Store # 1778 – Orange, CA is calling their crew the Orange Power Rangers. That JCPenney Store opened in 1977. The store covers 100,853 gross square feet with a net sales floor space of 69,723 square feet. The Orange store is part of a group of 63 JCPenney stores that participate in the company’s Advanced Energy Management (AEM) Program, which focuses on energy awareness on both the facility maintenance and store associate level. With the help of an Interval Data Recorder (IDR) meter, the energy usage of this store is monitored on a next-day basis, and daily store energy use reports for all associates to see. JC Penny Orange is already using 35% less energy than it was last year. 1778. Their starting EUI: 165
Good luck to all of the finalists, may you make the world a better place. Btw, does anyone else know what the winner gets, other than a trophy and/or plaque to proudly display?
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