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University of Minnesota adds four buildings to ENERGY STAR roster

October 14, 2013

Four more University of Minnesota buildings have achieved ENERGY STAR ratings by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bringing the institutional total to seven. Burton Hall, Wulling Hall, the Learning and Environmental Sciences Building and Roy Wilkins Hall join the Donhowe Building (June 2011), Education Sciences (August 2011) and University Office Plaza (April 2013) on the list of ENERGY STAR rated buildings on the Twin Cities Campus.

 ENERGY STAR plaque unveiling ceremonies will be held in each building as follows:

  • Wulling Hall – Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m., 1st Floor Inner Lobby (86 Pleasant St. SE, Minneapolis)
  • Burton Hall – Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m., 2nd Floor Atrium (178 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis)
  • Learning and Environmental Sciences – Thursday, Oct. 17 at 4:15 p.m., 2nd Floor Atrium (1954 Buford Ave., St. Paul)
  • Roy Wilkins Hall – Thursday, Nov. 14 at noon, 1st Floor Lobby (1212 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis)

For nearly 20 years, the EPA has administered the familiar ENERGY STAR program for household electronics and appliances. Similar to the ENERGY STAR score sheets displayed on washing machines and water heaters, the EPA also administers a scoring system for buildings. This tool serves as a method for comparing a building's energy efficiency to the efficiency of similar buildings.

To earn the ENERGY STAR rating, each building's energy consumption data (including building hours, size, number of occupants, types of lighting systems, etc.) is compared to hundreds of similar buildings. Buildings with more energy efficiency than 75 percent of all similar buildings qualify for the ENERGY STAR label. Burton Hall earned a rating of 98, meaning its energy efficiency rates in the top two percent of all similar buildings. Wulling Hall earned 96 points, Learning and Environmental Sciences Building received 96 points and Roy Wilkins Hall scored an 82. 

"The Energy Star Program provides the University with a universally accepted standard for validating the results of campus energy efficiency efforts," said Jeff Davis, Assistant Director of Energy Management. "Our hope is that when the folks who work in a building and the folks who maintain the building walk by an Energy Star plaque every morning, it will remind them to continue to do the little things that will add up to huge energy savings. It all adds up."

Energy Management uses the EPA's ENERGY STAR rating system and the State of Minnesota's "B3" (Buildings, Benchmarks and Beyond) database to benchmark and compare University buildings' energy performance against similar buildings. The Building Energy Report Card on the Facilities Management website was established to provide occupants with a visual indication of how campus buildings are performing from an energy efficiency perspective. The report card provides a meaningful ranking of each building's energy performance using a common unit of measure (KBTU / GSF) and comparing it to benchmarks created by using the state of Minnesota B3 benchmarking tool.

Collectively, these tools facilitate recognition of the U's achievements in energy efficiency and help direct future efforts to improve the efficiency of campus buildings.

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