The Golden Hill Office Center in Lakewood, Colo., and Denver�s Republic Plaza have been selected to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency�s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition called "Battle of the Buildings." The program helps improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and protects the environment.

Two Denver-Area Buildings Will Compete in ENERGY STAR's National Building Competition
Photo: courtesy of The RMH Group
Two Denver-Area Buildings Will Compete in ENERGY STAR's National Building Competition
Photo: courtesy of The RMH Group

In the spirit of popular weight-loss competitions, the two office buildings will battle it out against hundreds of others from across the country to reduce their “waste profiles” through improvements in energy efficiency—with help from EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.

The 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition includes 245 teams from 26 different types of commercial buildings—such as retail stores, schools, hotels and museums—from 33 states and the District of Columbia.

Eleven of the buildings are 100 years old or older; the smallest is just over 6,000 sq ft, and 15 buildings cover more than 1 million sq ft of floor space, with the largest totaling nearly 3 million sq ft.

Competitors will track their building’s monthly energy consumption using EPA’s ENERGY STAR online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager; 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 intensity will be recognized as the winner on Nov. 2.

Thousands of businesses and organizations work with EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year. ENERGY STAR recently awarded a 99-point rating (out of a 100-point maximum) to the Golden Hill Office Center.

Republic Plaza, the tallest building in the Rocky Mountain region, houses a 1.2-million-sq-ft, 56-story office tower, a four-story retail building, a food court, and an underground parking garage.

The RMH Group, a mechanical and electrical engineering and sustainable design and consulting firm headquartered in Lakewood, has been working closely with the owners of both buildings to enhance their sustainable elements.

“Golden Hill uses technologies that are just recently being introduced into contemporary facility design,” said Bill Green, president of The RMH Group.

Although the office complex was constructed almost 30 years ago, the ENERGY STAR score of 99 places the facility’s performance in the top 2% of all buildings of its type in the country. Augmenting Golden Hill’s sustainability is a roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system added in 2008.

Green enhancements to Republic Plaza over the years include:

  • Three lighting retrofits
  • Cooling tower retrofit with higher efficiency motors
  • Installation of variable-frequency drives on main air handling units
  • Heating controls retrofit
  • Variable-air-volume controls retrofit
  • Variable-frequency drive chiller upgrade.

These and other upgrades have reduced Republic Plaza's energy usage by more than 275 million kWh. Republic Plaza has maintained an ENERGY STAR rating since 2004.  

“Buildings of all shapes and sizes are saving money and energy with help from EPA and ENERGY STAR,” said Jean Lupinacci, director of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. “We applaud the contestants of EPA’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition for taking action to protect the environment and save energy in the buildings where we work, play and learn.”

As the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition spokesperson, actor John Corbett will provide energy-saving tips and encouragement through videos posted on the competition’s website, which will also feature a flash media wall with photos of all the competitors, a live Twitter feed and a Competitor Forum for exchanging ideas and strategies.

To watch the competition, go to: