Many businesses today claim their buildings are “green,” but are these facilities truly green? Over the past few years, interest in green construction has grown to the point that it is now one of the dominant trends in the building industry. While many new buildings today are designed and built to be green, they are not all energy efficient. A building cannot be considered truly green unless it is energy efficient, however, since the energy used by buildings comes primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, which releases greenhouse gas emissions that pollute the environment and contribute to climate change. Energy Star identifies energy-efficient buildings, using proven methods to ensure that buildings are designed to maximize energy efficiency and verifying that the building systems are actually performing as intended.
Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. The familiar Energy Star blue star, given to household appliances and electronics that meet a certain level of energy efficiency, can also be earned by energy efficient commercial buildings and industrial plants. To gain Energy Star’s blue star of certification, buildings and plants must meet strict energy performance standards. Energy Star is incorporated into many of the top green building certification systems and listings used today, most notably the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification and the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes system.
To be eligible for Energy Star certification, a building must earn an Energy Star score of 75 or higher, indicating that it performs better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. Energy Star scores of commercial buildings are calculated using Portfolio Manager, EPA’s free online tool that measures and tracks energy use, water use, and greenhouse emissions. Energy Star scores range from 1-100, and they are carefully calculated by the score’s algorithm, which takes into account differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and many other considerations.
Energy Star-certification is given on an annual basis, so all green buildings must maintain their high performance to be recertified each year. The building information submitted in certification applications must be verified by a third-party, either a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA), to be eligible for approval. The environmental benefits of having an Energy Star-certified building are considerable: certified buildings often use at least one-third less energy than comparable buildings, and generate 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. There are also significant economic benefits, as an Energy Star-certified building costs an average of $0.54 less per square foot to operate, and enjoys higher rental and occupancy rates.
Now that you know more about Energy Star Certified Green Buildings in Fort Lauderdale, are you interested in achieving Energy Star-certification for your facility? As the industry leader in green building in South Florida, Advanced Control Corporation has increased the energy efficiency of thousands of buildings, reducing their carbon footprint and helping them achieve green building certification. Whether you are building a new structure or retrofitting an existing building, our experienced experts can create a customized energy management system for your facility that incorporates temperature control, lighting control, and access control, improving your building’s energy efficiency so you can achieve the green building certification of your choice. Contact Advanced Control Corporation today at 954.491.6660 to start enjoying the many benefits of being an Energy Star-certified green building owner!