July 2000

Star performer

ORNL’s own Building 3147 joins elite with EPA-DOE ‘Energy Star’ rating

The Energy Division unveiled its Energy Star rating on June 21 for Building 3147, one of a few office buildings that meets energy efficiency standards for the ratings established by DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s one of only two star-rated buildings in the state.

Building 3147 houses most of the offices of the Buildings Technology Center, an ORNL user facility.

At the ceremony, Christian compared the building, and its location, to the “best softball field I ever saw. It was built on the site of a reclaimed strip mine.”

He continued, “This Energy Division Building is built on a reclaimed nuclear research site. It shows the direction the nation can take with reclaiming and efficiently managing its resources. It’s also the best I’ve ever seen when one takes into account the impressive list of contributions the occupants have made toward achieving this country’s building energy efficiency goals.”

Indeed, Christian cited technologies from the BTC that have charted impressive energy efficiency gains, including

Christian says the Energy Star shows that ORNL not only performs outstanding energy efficiency research, it also “walks the talk.”

An energy management system was installed during construction of the building in 1985. The original lighting was converted in 1994 to high-efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors, reducing energy use of the building by 20 percent.

With those improvements, many of which were overseen by Energy Division’s Terry Sharp, who helped establish many of the benchmarking criteria for the Energy Star award, Building 3147 is one of the top 10 percent in the nation in energy efficiency.

Only 200 commercial buildings in the country have the rating and only about 40 government buildings have it. The other Energy Star–rated commercial building in the state is the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Chattanooga office complex.

Christian also said the Energy Star rating meant that a facility is a “healthy and productive” work environment as well as an energy efficient one.

“This is first-class energy efficient space, and all a part of one of the Lab’s top user facilities,” he said. “Indeed, DOE has built the user facility, and the users have come.”

Find out more about the Energy Star rating at www.epa.gov/buildings/label/.—B.C.