Tennessee utility earns first LEED-EB pilot credit after energy efficiency retrofit
USGBC awarded a LEED-certified plaque to the headquarters building of Chattanooga's electric utility, EPB, in June. It is the first building in the world to earn LEED certification using a new pilot credit for satisfying an energy pre-requisite in the LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M Rating System. To earn the credit, the utility demonstrated an energy improvement of 20% over a 12-month period, as compared to a three-year baseline.
The company programmed most computers to auto-power off after 30 minutes of inactivity, optimized its air handling units' performance, and installed lighting sensors throughout the building. To understand the importance of this pilot credit, imagine two buildings of the same size and usage profiles: one has an ENERGY STAR score of 15, which improves to 55; the other starts at 80 and ends up at 95. Despite the higher score of the first building, the planet is far better off because of what the first building did, says Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the USGBC. Because we have millions of those kinds of commercial buildings in the United States, this is a game-changing approach, says Fedrizzi.