Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Energy Hog Buildings Compete to Become The Biggest Losers

Even if you don't watch a lot of television, you're probably at least familiar with the game show "The Biggest Loser."  Now the U.S. government is holding its own version of the competition.

The EPA is pitting a select group of buildings from around the country against each other to see which ones can save the most energy.

The contestants are:

  • 1525 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia
  • 522 Fifth Avenue in New York
  • The Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in San Diego
  • Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale, Colorado
  • The JCPenney store in Orange, California
  • Maplewood Mall in Saint Paul
  • The Memorial Arts Building in Atlanta
  • The Morrison dorm at UNC in Chapel Hill
  • The Sears store in Glen Burnie, Maryland
  • The Sheraton hotel in Austin
  • Solon Family Health Center in Cleveland
  • The Tucker dorm at NC State in Raleigh
  • Van Holten Primary School in Bridgewater, New Jersey
  • The Virginia Beach Convention Center

The winner gets... bragging rights mostly. Also, they've saved a bunch of energy which is nice.

If all this has you curious,
Here's the web site for the EPA's National Building Competition.
Here's a Twitter link so you can follow the contest.

A press release from Hines about the participation of its 522 Fifth Avenue follows:


(NEW YORK) – Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today that 522 5th Avenue in New York City has been selected to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) first national competition among commercial buildings to save energy and fight climate change. In the spirit of popular weight-loss competitions, 522 5th Avenue will compete against 13 other buildings across the country to “work off the waste” through improvements in energy efficiency with help from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program. The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be recognized as the winner of the EPA’s National Building Competition in late October 2010.
"We’re excited to have been selected as one of only two commercial building contestants in the competition,” said Hines Senior Vice President George Lancaster. "This kind of fun-spirited competition is a great tool to build awareness among our building occupants, so that we can partner to drive down energy consumption.”
Nearly 200 buildings applied to participate in the National Building Competition, which will judge the energy performance of the 14 finalists from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010. The energy use of each building is being monitored with the EPA’s online measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Contestants will receive technical assistance from the EPA as well as energy fitness advice from celebrity trainer, Bob Harper. Each building will participate in a mid-point weigh-in and post their results online at the competition website. Twitter updates by contestants will also be available
“Buildings of all shapes and sizes are saving money and energy with help from EPA and ENERGY STAR,” said Jean Lupinacci, director of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. “We applaud the contestants of EPA’s National Building Competition for taking action to protect the environment and fight climate change.”
Hines is one of the most sustainable real estate companies in the world.  In 2010 Hines was recognized by the EPA, for the third time, with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award; Hines manages 147 labelled buildings, representing approximately 75 million square feet, in the ENERGY STAR program.  Twelve Hines development or redevelopment projects, representing more than six million square feet, have been designated as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.
Hines is also a leader in the U.S. Green Building Council’s programs, with 192 projects, representing more than 100 million square feet that have been certified, pre-certified or registered under the various LEED® rating systems.  Hines was a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council and the Russian Green Building Council, and is active in the Green Building Council Brasil, the Green Building Council España, the Green Building Council Italia, the Indian Green Building Council, the BRE Environmental Assessment Method program in the United Kingdom and the Haute Qualité Environnementale program in France.
Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. The firm’s historical and current portfolio of projects that are underway, completed, acquired and managed for third parties includes 1,111 properties representing more than 451 million square feet of office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, hotel, medical and sports facilities, as well as large, master-planned communities and land developments. Hines has offices in more than 100 cities in 17 countries and controls assets valued at approximately $22.2 billion. Visit for more information. To learn more about sustainability at Hines, visit

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