Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Energy Department Announces Winner of the 2013 Better Buildings Federal Award Competition

December 17, 2013

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The Energy Department today announced that the General Services Administration’s (GSA) United States Court House in Wichita, Kansas is the winner of the 2013 Better Buildings Federal Award. The Better Buildings Federal Award challenges agencies to achieve the greatest reduction in annual energy intensity, or energy consumed per gross square foot. This year’s winner cut its energy intensity by 20% and saved over $40,000 in utility costs in the 12 month competition period.

Building on past energy efficiency improvements funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, GSA Region 6 implemented energy efficiency upgrades, including a cost-effective re-tuning of building control systems and equipment, to boost energy efficiency in the 80-year-old Wichita Court House in Wichita, Kansas. GSA also provided training and technical support to the building staff on how best to manage and sustain the energy efficiency improvements and also encouraged Court House tenants to reduce energy waste within their work areas. Despite the summer’s heat waves and the winter’s cold snaps, GSA cut energy use by 20% in the building while maintaining a satisfaction rate among tenants of more than 90%, according to a GSA Tenant Satisfaction Survey.

Finalists from the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, and the Departments of State and Energy also competed in this year’s race to reduce their buildings’ energy intensity. When selecting finalists, the Energy Department's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) considered energy efficiency measures deployed in each facility; best practices in energy management; and building operations undertaken by facility personnel, as well as organizational programs and tools to encourage broad sustainability efforts.
Beginning in 2014, the Better Buildings Federal Award will be presented to the federal facility that achieves the highest ranking in the Environmental Protection Agency's National Building Competition, Battle of the Buildings, which challenges federal, commercial, and industrial buildings to achieve the greatest reduction in annual energy use intensity. Participants will measure, track, and report their monthly 2014 energy consumption using EPA's online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, and compare it to calendar year 2013 usage.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about how the Energy Department works with key individuals to enable Federal agencies to meet energy-related goals on the FEMP website. Visit the Better Buildings Federal Award website for more information on the GSA project.