Atlanta's Top 5 Most Energy Efficient Buildings of 2016
In 2016, Atlanta was ranked number 5 out of the top 25 cities to have the most Energy Star Certified Buildings in the United States.
When this announcement was made, Georgia had 351 certified buildings. These building make up 83 million square feet of energy efficient space. This lead to 430 thousand prevented emissions, and $72 million in savings.
Among the Atlanta buildings that have been Energy Star Certified, we wanted to point out a few buildings to show how these facilities have earned their rankings.
This office building has earned its spot as number one for a reason. Since their first Energy Star certification in 2008, this building has re-applied every year and has stayed in the 90’s for their ranking. Their lowest Energy Star score was a 92 in 2008 while their highest score was 98 back in 2012.
This means they have performed at 98% energy efficiency when compared to similar buildings nationwide!
Constructed in 2006 and designed specifically for energy efficiency, this building excels with its purpose. The roof was constructed to contain either vegetated areas or high albedo materials to reduce thermal heat.
Reduced Thermal Heat = Less to Cool
To keep the HVAC system from overworking, high-efficiency window glazing - along with roof and wall insulation - was added. Not only was the 780,036-square foot building made to help the HVAC, but also the HVAC infrastructure was designed to work more efficiently for the demand being placed on it. How can I manage my costs?
More efficient HVAC = Less Wasted Energy
Other energy efficiencies this building utilizes that are easy to implement:
- Occupancy lighting sensors to reduce unnecessary lighting.
- Rain water/HVAC condensation water irrigation system
- Load Reductions
- Fan Systems
Storing rain water/HVAC condensation allows for recycling of water for vegetation instead of using city water.
The 1180 Peachtree building has also been given its number one spot because it is the only building of this list to be LEED-CS certified. It was the first pre-certified LEED-CS Silver high-rise office in the world. Shortly after, this building was the second of its kind to be awarded the LEED-CS Gold certification.
Built in 2001, this 23-story, Class “A” office building has earned a number two spot because of their upper 80’s to mid-90’s Energy Star scores since 2009. While the Regions Plaza building has not scored as high as the 1180 Peachtree building, each year this build re-certifies and has scored between an 83 and a 94. These scores show that this building has a very high efficiency rating compared to those that are similar.
This building has a total floor space of 539,819 square feet; 500, 953 square feet of this space is rentable office space. With such a large area, it's amazing to see how their upgrades have enhanced their energy savings.
- They upgraded their fluorescent T-12 tubes and incandescent lights to LED T-8 tubes and compact fluorescent lighting.
- They installed variable frequency drives (VDFs) on water cooled self-contained units
- They installed VDFs on outside air fans and exhaust fans
- They installed VDFs on cooling tower fans
Making this building stand out, it was constructed in 1989 and has been consistently Energy Star certified since 2011. With 391,483 square feet and 21-stories, this building has scored an 86 at its lowest and 95 at its highest.
This building was not designed with energy efficiency in mind like the 1180 Peachtree building. The specific changes that the Peachtree building made show how dedication to efficiency is easy to achieve.
- They retrofitted their T-12 lighting fixtures to T-8 lighting fixtures
- They installed compact fluorescent lamps in their office spaces
- Retrofitted 364 candelabra lamps in their common areas to 4 watt LED light fixtures
- They retrofitted 8 foot T-8 light fixtures to 4 foot LED fixtures in their underground parking garage.
- Installed VDFs on the cooling tower fans, building loop pumps, and cooling tower pumps
- Modernized passenger elevators
- Educated tenants on energy saving benefits
- Enforced the practice of turning off all lights after janitorial cleaning has taken place
- Made over 570 water sourced heat pumps more efficient
- Installed motion sensor lighting in restrooms and communal areas.
Constructed of concrete with tempered spandrel glass panels, this 24-story building has been less consistent in the past with their Energy Star certifications as compared with our other top-ranking buildings. In 2009, they earned their first certification with a score of 76. Since then, they have certified each year since 2015 with a score in the low 80s.
Don’t let the score fool you!
While it may seem like the Georgia Power Headquarters building is scoring low, this score compares building nationwide that meet similar standards. Earning an Energy Star certification is a challenge in and of itself.
On top of containing a 24-story building, this property also contains a 3-story building with 24/7 operations, a five-story gated parking deck, a 16-acre fenced campus that includes a park with an open-air pavilion and a 10,000-square foot, 100% recycled, rubber walking trail.
The buildings design was carefully mapped out before construction in 1980. The building is shaped to provide shade for itself to prevent thermal heat changes. Utilizing 20% reflective, insulated vision glass and thermally buffered elevator and mechanical/electrical support rooms, the Georgia Power Headquarters building performs efficiently with its design.
Why wouldn’t you want to certify and save 35% more?
These are just a few examples of how companies are using their builds to save money along with saving the environment. These Energy Star certified buildings use 35% less energy. That is 35% more savings in cost and 35% less greenhouse gas emissions polluting the air.
Are you or anyone you know in the construction industry and interested in obtaining building certification?
Have you already received a certification of any kind? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!