|UNCís Morrison hall ranks first at midpoint of EPAís National Building Competition|
|Wednesday, July 21, 2010|
Six months into a yearlong competition, Morrison Residence Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks first of 14 contestants in a national energy efficiency contest. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the midpoint rankings of contestants in the National Building Competition, a coast-to-coast contest to save energy and help fight climate change.
The competition is the first national energy efficiency contest of its kind and features 14 buildings from across the country that are “working off the waste” through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be declared the winner by EPA on October 26, 2010.
Morrison Residence Hall reduced its energy use by 19.2 percent from August 31, 2009, to February 28, 2010. (The average percent energy reduction among all competitors was approximately 8 percent.) Energy-saving strategies at Morrison included replacing incandescent track lights with light-emitting diode bulbs and reducing the wattage of 200 balcony lights. Minimizing the airflow into rooms that don’t need any heating or cooling reduced fan energy by 70 percent. Posters on all floors announced the competition and reminded students to be conscious of all the energy they use. In addition, UNC improved Morrison’s solar energy system, reworked the energy dashboard and generally tuned up the heating, ventilation and air- conditioning system.
“We are very excited about the competition and hope that these efforts will show the country that there is a huge opportunity to conserve. We are not talking about 10 to 15 percent here, we are talking about 25 percent, 30 percent and higher,” said Chris M. Martin Jr., director of UNC Energy Management. “This great competition, sponsored by EPA’s ENERGY STAR program may be just the spark we need for a nationwide energy conservation initiative.”