CHARLOTTE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected Bradley Middle School to participate in its ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings.
In the spirit of popular weight-loss competitions, the school will battle it out against hundreds of other teams from buildings across the country to cut energy use with help from the ENERGY STAR program. Other Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools selected to participate are Chantilly Montessori, Elizabeth Traditional, Myers Park Traditional and Providence Spring Elementary.
This year’s competition includes 245 teams from 26 different kinds of commercial buildings, such as retail stores, schools, hotels and museums, located in 33 states and Washington D.C. Out of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools buildings, two, Chantilly Montessori and Myers Park Traditional, are more than 80 years old. The smallest building, Chantilly Montessori, has nearly 45,000 square feet, and two buildings, Bradley Middle and Myers Park Traditional, are more than double that size, covering more than 100,000 square feet.
Competitors will measure and track their building’s monthly energy consumption using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. They’ll make improvements to their building’s energy performance and share their progress. Of the initial pool of 245 competitors, a small group of buildings will be selected as finalists in July. Among the finalists, the building that demonstrates the greatest percentage-based reduction in energy use will be recognized as the winner on Nov. 2.
According to the agency, energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and energy use at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. On average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with the agency’s ENERGY STAR program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
The competition website also will feature a flash media wall with photos of all the competitors, a live Twitter feed and a competitor forum for exchanging ideas and strategies. Watch the battle unfold at the program’s website, www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.