A new contest from the West Michigan chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council pits companies against one another to see whose building is the most energy efficient.
The first annual Battle of the Buildings, billed as “an energy reduction war and a crusade against kilowatts,” aims to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the West Michigan region, said contest creator and coordinator Cheri Holman, an energy reduction manager with Hurst Mechanical and treasurer for the West Michigan chapter of the USGBC.
“This is a ‘Biggest Loser-type’ competition to see who can reduce their energy use the most in 2014,” Holman said. “The point of this is to help reduce carbon emissions and save energy throughout West Michigan and spotlight (area companies) that are leaders in the green building world.”
Throughout the year, companies will try to reduce their energy use intensity. In each individual building class, the company with the largest percentage reduction will be recognized as a winner at a 2015 energy summit put on by the local USGBC chapter.
Holman came up with the idea after working with a number of clients and entering them into the national Battle of the Buildings competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“I modeled it after that competition and thought if we brought it down to a local level where companies could get recognized by their peers, people (would) care more,” Holman said.
After reaching out to sponsors including Consumers Energy, the project went from a vision to reality really fast, she said. The EPA, EnergyStar and Gov. Rick Snyder’s office are also endorsing the competition.
Registration for the competition ends March 31. More information can be found at usgbcwm.org/battle.php.
On Jan. 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Hurst Mechanical will host a workshop on Portfolio Manager, the EPA’s online energy tracking tool, which companies will use to track their progress during the competition. The cost for the workshop is $10 for USGBC chapter members and $20 for nonmembers.