The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education’s Facilities and Transportation Department office building, managed by ORAU, has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification, which signifies that the building, located off Bethel Valley Road in Oak Ridge, performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy-efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.
“We are pleased to accept the EPA’s Energy Star certification in recognition of ORISE’s energy-efficiency efforts,” said ORISE Director and ORAU President Andy Page. “Through this achievement along with our corporate office building earning the first new, gold-level LEED-certified office building in Tennessee, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”
The EPA works with organizations to help them save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making their buildings more energy-efficient, a press release said.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the Energy Star Commercial and Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s Energy Star certification.”
To earn the ENERGY STAR certification, the ORISE team installed high-efficiency boilers, retro-commissioned the building’s HVAC system to fine-tune operations and reduce reheat requirements, and replaced interior lighting with 25-watt, T8 fluorescent bulbs in this building that was originally constructed in 2003.
ORAU has a long history of being environmentally friendly, which is documented in ORAU’s environmental management system and by maintaining ISO14001 certification for environmentally sound business practices, the press release said.
“At ORAU, we truly believe in doing what we can to help preserve the environment, and our culture and actions reflect this,” Page said. “We are proud of our energy-saving initiatives and the fact that ORAU recycles more than we throw away.”
ORAU also coordinates an annual Earth Day event coming up in April, where employees are encouraged to bring in unwanted items from home to recycle from old televisions and computers to paper. Separate from its Earth Day event, ORAU as an organization recycles more than it throws away annually as it recycled more than 175,000 pounds of materials in 2015.
EPA’s Energy Star energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale may be eligible for Energy Star certification. Commercial buildings that can earn the Energy Star include offices, bank branches, data centers, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.
Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA, the press release said.
During the past 20 years, it said, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from Energy Star.
For more information about Energy Star certification for commercial buildings, visit www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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