Green News


By: Olivia Pulsinelli
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July 25, 2012 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings this year features more than 3,200 buildings — including 61 in Houston.

Beginning Wednesday, teams across the country are competing to see which can reduce energy use the most. There are 30 types of commercial buildings participating, including office towers, retail stores, schools, hotels and museums.

In Houston, 28 office buildings, 18 health care and medical office buildings, seven senior care facilities, six multifamily buildings and one hotel are competing.

Competitors will keep track of their buildings’ monthly energy consumption, and the lead buildings will be revealed this fall. The building with the largest percentage reduction will be named the winner in April. Finalists in each building category and the top water-use reducers also will be recognized in April.

"This year the number of teams committing to increase energy efficiency through the Energy Star Battle of the Buildings is larger than ever before — more than ten times as many as last year,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a Wednesday statement. “We're expecting record energy savings as more and more buildings cut back on their energy use.”

The competition has grown from 14 buildings in 2010 to 245 last year — when two Houston buildings competed — to 3,284 this year.