January 18, 2017
8:59 am

Battle of Buildings Focuses on Energy

Lots of folks talk about environmental sustainability, and how their company is working hard to 'go green,' but now they can actually go up against others and prove their ability to reduce energy consumption in the 4th Annual Battle of the Buildings getting underway.

Hosted by the West Michigan Chapter of the U.S. Green Buildings Council, the Battle of the Buildings is designed to encourage and recognize energy-efficient practices through a spirit of friendly competition among building owners and operators. The 2017 version features commercial and industrial buildings of all sizes who are invited to register between now and the March 31st deadline. It is the only competition of its kinds anywhere in America and there is no cost to compete.

Last year there were 475 contenders who competed in the Battle of the Buildings, representing nearly 65-million square feet of real estate -- that's the equivalent of 1,124 football fields. Since the Battle's inception, competitors have reduced 17,051.4 metric tons of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2e), which is comparable to taking 3,602 vehicles off the road for a full year. Participants last year included hospitals, manufacturing facilities, office buildings, and libraries among others. Last year's winners will be recognized at the Annual Energy Summit in Grand Rapids on April 19th.

Sarah Chartier is Program Manager of Spectrum Health System's Sustainability Program. She says, "As West Michigan's largest employer, we want to set an example for other organizations and our staff." She adds, "The battle of the Buildings is a great way to encourage energy efficiency, share project ideas and improve our environmental footprint. It gives us an opportunity to showcase our efforts to reduce energy consumption while drawing comparisons between Spectrum and other health systems in Michigan."

There were about a dozen competitors in Berrien County during the 2016 Battle of the Buildings, the majority oif which appeared to be Fifth Third Branch Bank buildings scattered from Coloma and Watervliet to Harbor Country. According to Cheri Holman, who is Executive Director of the West Michigan Chapter of the U.S. Green Buildings Council, a key component of the competition requires building owners to measure, track and report monthly energy consumption using Energy Star's Portfolio Manager. Participants also engage in a variety of energy-saving activities such as making building improvements, optimizing operations and maintenance, and encouraging occupants to conserve energy. Among those activities are workshops led by local and national leaders that highlight the latest energy savings techniques.

Buildings that demonstrate the greatest percentage-based reduction in energy use intensity during 2017 will be recognized at the Annual Energy Summit in Grand Rapids in April of 2018. 

Title sponsors for the Michigan Battle of the Buildings are Consumers Energy and DTE Energy. Competition is open to owners and operators of commercial, industrial, institutional, non-profit, multi-family, retail and education buildings in the state of Michigan that have 2016 energy data.

For information on how to enter, building registration or to become a Battle partner, you can click this link:
The U.S. Green Building Council is a coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. The West Michigan Chapter provides and develops leadership through affiliations and education at all levels. 
Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
People : Sarah Chartier
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