Salt Lake City’s Department of Sustainability is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Elevate Buildings Awards, highlighting organizations that have taken action to enhance the energy performance of their buildings. Improved efficiency reduces local air pollution, as well as overall greenhouse gas emissions, making it an important component of the capital city’s work to achieve its Climate Positive goals.
“Area sources, including buildings, are having a significant and growing impact on our airshed,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “But they also have a critical role to play in being part of the solution. The organizations we are highlighting this year through the Elevate Buildings Awards are all examples of community leadership in ‘walking the walk’ to improve air quality year round.”
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 30 percent of the average commercial building’s energy consumption is wasted through inefficient building operation. That makes energy efficiency the “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to improving air quality and reducing Salt Lake City’s community carbon footprint—a goal made all the more important by the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report showing the urgency of reducing emissions from all sources.
“Salt Lake City is feeling the effects of climate change every year, whether through wildfire, drought, high temperatures, or less snow,” said Mayor Biskupski. “We applaud these organizations for joining with us to reduce emissions and ‘Act on Climate.’”
The Elevate Buildings Awards is one feature of the larger Elevate Buildings initiative housed within Salt Lake City’s Department of Sustainability. In August 2017, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring large commercial buildings to begin “benchmarking” (or measuring) their annual energy use and reporting their ENERGY STAR score to the City. The first reporting deadline is May 2019.
The awards recognize those buildings that have gone above and beyond to reduce their emissions through innovative programs and efficiency upgrades. Applications were accepted from all over Utah in recognition of the importance of energy reduction statewide.
The 2018 Elevate Buildings Award winners are:
University of Utah Health: Energy Project of the Year
Over the course of 2017, the Hospital Facilities & Engineering at University of Utah Health undertook a six-phase project that would all-told replace 1,831 fixtures with new LED lighting. According to Robert Armstrong, the project will prevent 463 metric tons worth of associated CO2 emissions and see a 69 percent reduction in energy consumption of the lighting system.
In recognition of the energy, carbon, and financial savings that the Patient Care Pavilion has realized from this effort alone, Salt Lake City and the Department of Sustainability name University of Utah Health the winner of the Elevate Buildings Energy Project of the Year Award for 2018.
Davis School District: Energy Management Program 2018
Davis School District exemplifies the many benefits that can be achieved from a holistic, organization-wide energy management program. Davis School District incorporates energy efficiency efforts across all of its 100+ facilities under the direction of the district’s 20-member energy committee. The outcome: the district’s overall annual energy consumption has had a 16 percent reduction against a 2006 benchmark
Because it has demonstrated what a concerted and comprehensive commitment to energy management can achieve across a wide variety of facilities, Salt Lake City and the Department of Sustainability name Davis School District the winner of the Elevate Buildings Energy Management Program award for 2018.
VCBO Architecture: Most Improved Energy Star Score
One of the most important sustainability actions VCBO Architecture currently implements is monitoring their energy consumption with the EPA’s free online software Portfolio Manager, which VCBO uses to assess the impact that their efforts are having on the energy performance of their building. Over the course of just the last two years, VCBO Architecture has raised their ENERGY STAR score from 77—to a remarkable 86.
For the nine-point increase of their building’s ENERGY STAR score over the course of two years, Salt Lake City is happy to recognize VCBO Architecture as the 2018 winner of the Elevate Buildings Award for Most Improved ENERGY STAR score.
Vestar – Gateway: Energy Efficiency Champion 2018
When Vestar bought The Gateway in Spring 2016, immediate, major upgrades started to take place—chief among them, energy efficiency enhancements and carbon reduction initiatives throughout the property. To help achieve these goals, they partnered with Lux Energy Group to create a comprehensive program of energy optimization projects.
In the last year, The Gateway eliminated more than 2,300 metric tons of carbon emissions and has realized a $275,000 reduction in annual energy costs. They are poised to reduce costs even more in the coming year.
Because of these ongoing efforts, Salt Lake City and the Department of Sustainability are pleased to recognize The Gateway as the Elevate Buildings Awards Energy Efficiency Champion for 2018.