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UNC Tops EPA’s First National Building Competition

Morrison Residence Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s first National Building Competition, followed closely by a Sears store in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and a JCPenney store in Orange, California.

The competition challenged teams from 14 buildings across the country to measure their building’s energy use with help from the Energy Star program and work off the waste.

Here’s why UNC took the top slot. Morrison Residence Hall reduced its energy use by 35.7 percent in one year, saved more than $250,000 on energy bills and reduced more than 730 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The residence hall reduced its energy use through a combination of energy efficiency strategies, including improved operations and maintenance as well as outreach to dormitory residents. A computer touch-screen monitor in the dormitory’s lobby helped Morrison residents and the UNC energy team to keep track of energy consumption. The hall also made improvements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as lighting to help increase energy efficiency.

A Sears store in Glen Burnie, Maryland, came in second place with a 31.7 percent energy reduction, and a JCPenney store in Orange, California, claimed third place with energy savings of 28.4 percent.

Together, the fourteen competitors reduced their energy use by more than 44 million kBtu, saved more than $950,000 in utility bills, and prevented nearly 5,000 metric tons of GHG emissions.

The National Building Competition measured energy reductions from September 1, 2009, through August 31, 2010. The energy use of each building was monitored through EPA’s Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager.

The winner is the building with the greatest percentage-based reduction in weather normalized, energy use intensity. Third-party utility statements were required to verify the energy performance of each building.

Here are the final rankings:

1. Morrison Residence Hall at UNC Chapel Hill, NC; dormitory (35.7 percent)

2. Sears Glen Burnie, Glen Burnie, MD; retail store (31.7 percent)

3. JCPenney, Orange, CA; retail store (28.4 percent)

4. 1525 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA; office building (28.0 percent)

5. 522 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY; office building (18.1 percent)

6. Solon Family Health Center, Solon, OH, medical office building (13.9 percent)

7. Crystal River Elementary School, Carbondale, CO, K-12 school (12.2 percent)

8. Tucker Residence Hall at NC State University, Raleigh, NC; dormitory (10.3 percent)

9. Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown, CA; hotel (8.6 percent)

10. Maplewood Mall, Maplewood, MN; enclosed shopping mall (6.7 percent)

11. Memorial Arts Building at Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA; museum (5.7 percent)

12. Van Holten Primary School, Bridgewater, NJ; K-12 school (5.3 percent)

13. Sheraton Austin Hotel, Austin, TX; hotel (1.9 percent)

14. Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, VA; convention center (1.5 percent)

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