Virginia Beach Announces Another Energy Star Certified Building

Monday, April 16, 2012

The City of Virginia Beach announced that the Virginia Beach Human Services building, located at 3432 Virginia Beach Blvd., has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification. This distinction requires that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets energy efficiency performance levels as set by the EPA.

With more than 50,000 visitors annually, the Human Service building provides essential support services for the community.  As the 15-year-old building was due for upgrades, the City completed the following actions to make the building more energy-efficient:

  • HVAC Control Improvements
  • Ceiling and Wall Occupancy Sensors
  • Occupancy Sensors on Vending Machines
  • Replacement of approximately 390 computers and replacement of all old CRT (cathode ray tube) computer monitors with energy saving LCD (liquid crystal diode).

Before the retrofits, the center had a baseline Energy Star Portfolio rating of 54.  Once completed, the score rose to 79 by February 2012.  This equated to an energy reduction of approximately 32 percent, with an expected savings of more than $25,000 annually.

"The City of Virginia Beach is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

This is the eighth City of Virginia Beach Energy Star certified building. Other buildings include six schools and the Visitor Information Center.  According to the EPA’s website, altogether there are 28 Energy Star certified buildings located in Virginia Beach representing over 1.8 million square feet.

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  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 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA.  Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $18 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 34 million vehicles.

For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Commercial Buildings please visit www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings. For more information about the City of Virginia Beach’s Energy program please visit www.vbgov.com/energy.

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