Energy efficient buildings around country receive recognition

October 21, 2011

Buildings around the U.S. have received recognition for their efforts in lowering energy consumption and providing sustainable alternatives to structures that use significant amounts of electricity.

This effort has been inspired by the fact that the 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. consume 40 percent of the energy in this country, something that the Department of Energy has noticed and provided funding to address the problem.

The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy-Efficient Buildings project (GPIC) was designated as the site for the development and design of energy-efficient buildings and technology.

Located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the project is a consortium of academic institutions, businesses, federal laboratories, regional economic-development organizations and other organizations that Pennsylvania State University received a grant to help set up.

Laurie Actman was recently chosen as the leader for the university's efforts, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Technology that could be developed at this site may help companies achieve the goal of lowered consumption while also helping to reduce electricity costs.

Office Depot recently won an Energy Star(R) certification from the Environmental Protection Agency for the company's headquarters. This energy-efficient building effectively utilized technology to limit the consumption of energy, according to the company's release.

"Office Depot is pleased to accept EPA's ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts," said Edward Costa, Vice President of Construction for Office Depot. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs."

According to the release, companies have to construct or retrofit buildings that use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical structures.

"Improving the energy efficiency of our nation's buildings is critical to protecting our environment," said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch.

According to the Hartford Courant, the Mary M. Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School in Hartford also recently received recognition for efforts in trying to limit the energy consumption at the site.

The school was designated as a Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building, due to the efficient use of sustainable technology.

"The Hartford Public Schools takes great pride in receiving LEED Platinum certification on our newest school construction, particularly a school focused on environmental sciences," the superintendent told the Courant.