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St. Louis County Competes in ENERGY STAR National Building Challenge

Categories: 2011 Press Releases, Property Management News | Author: Peggy Carlson | Posted: 5/19/2011 | Views: 25149

N E W S   R E L E A S E

May 19, 2011    

Tony Mancuso, Property Management Director
St. Louis County Courthouse
Duluth, MN   218-725-5085


St. Louis County Competes in ENERGY STAR National Building Challenge
St. Louis County’s Government Services Center (GSC) facility in Duluth is competing in the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition. The building was constructed by the State of Minnesota in 1981, and was purchased by the county in 2002 to house most of its government operations in downtown Duluth. The GSC is located at 320 West Second Street, and has been a focus of the county’s energy innovations for several years.

The GSC facility has been selected to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings to help improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and protect the environment. In the spirit of popular weight-loss competitions, the GSC facility will battle it out against hundreds of other teams from buildings across the country to work off the waste through improvements in energy efficiency with help from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. St. Louis County is committed to improving its overall energy efficiency, and we look forward to learning how we measure up against other commercial buildings across the nation.

The 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition includes 245 teams from 26 different types of commercial buildings, such as retail stores, schools, hotels, and museums, located in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Eleven buildings are 100 or more years old, the smallest building is just over 6,000 square feet, and fifteen buildings cover more than 1 million square feet of floor space, with the largest totaling nearly 3 million square feet. The county’s Government Services Center contains 165,484 square feet of space.

Of the initial pool of 245 competitors, a small group of buildings will be selected as finalists in July of this year. Among the finalists, the building that demonstrates the greatest percentage-based reduction in energy use intensity across a two -year span from the baseline period (9/01/09 - 8/31/10) through the current period (9/01/10 - 8/31/11) will be recognized as the ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings winner on November 2, 2011.

According to the EPA, energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and energy use at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. On average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.

St. Louis County's Property Management Department has championed energy savings investments and technologies in the Government Services Center and other buildings throughout the county for the last decade. These efforts have resulted in significant savings in property tax dollars as well as environmental benefits. The St. Louis County Board formally endorsed these initiatives in 2007 with the following directive, ". . . county departments shall work cooperatively to identify and implement sound waste reduction, pollution prevention, and environmentally preferable purchasing practices, and jointly develop county policies and programs in these areas.”

The Property Management Department's energy efficiency accomplishments have been recognized through a variety of grants and awards including the 2008 Lake Superior Binational Forum Environmental Stewardship Award.

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