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Energy Department Recognizes City of Roanoke, VA for Leadership in Better Buildings Challenge


As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings, the Energy Department today recognized the city of Roanoke, Virginia for its leadership. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Roanoke has committed to 20 percent savings by 2020 across more than 25 buildings, covering one million square feet. Roanoke has already achieved 16 percent energy savings since 2009, and its Better Buildings Challenge showcase project, a retrofit of the Berglund Center, is expected to result in 30 percent energy savings, totaling $180,000 annually.                       

“Better Buildings Challenge partners are demonstrating that cutting energy waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions improve communities,” said Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Through their leadership and ingenuity, these partners are moving American businesses and communities forward by demonstrating environmental responsibility.”

The Berglund Center is a 390,000 square-foot entertainment and convention center with a performing arts theater, coliseum, exhibit hall, special events center and office space. Kicking off upgrades in 2011, Roanoke first conducted a comprehensive assessment of the civic center and identified strategies to reduce energy use while increasing comfort and cutting costs. The city then allocated $750,000 to retrofit and replace heating and cooling systems, upgrade lighting, and implement a system-wide operations and maintenance schedule to ensure that all systems were running at efficiency.

The city’s facility manager hired skilled professionals to staff Roanoke’s energy management team and perform all retrofit activities and building maintenance, cultivate in-house knowledge that could be leveraged for future building projects in the city’s portfolio. The team of professionals installed a highly efficient cooling system, which cut cooling costs by 50 percent. The city also upgraded to high efficiency lighting throughout the facility and created innovative strategies such as controlling lighting by zones.

“The Berglund Center is a good example of the city’s energy efficiency program,” said Roanoke Mayor David A. Bowers. “We continue to make improvements to our facilities that demonstrate our commitment to high efficiency buildings and financial savings.”

A cornerstone of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Challenge supports the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. More than 200 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, Better Buildings Challenge partners are deploying energy efficiency projects at more than 9,000 facilities, with more than 2,100 buildings improving efficiency by least 20 percent, and another 4,500 by at least 10 percent, compared with their baseline years.


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