Seattle retrofit projects represent two firsts for Better Buildings Challenge

February 15, 2018

Achieving two noteworthy firsts for the Better Buildings Challenge, two Seattle-area businesses in energy-intensive sectors both surpassed their energy efficiency goals.

The main terminal at King County International Airport in Seattle is one of the oldest and busiest non-hub airport terminals in the U.S. Its energy retrofit, which resulted in an energy savings of more than 60 percent over the previous year, included advanced lighting controls, LED lighting inside and outside (including the parking lot), and a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system to replace an older, more energy-intensive model.

A large overhead fan in the terminal lobby adds efficiency by reducing the load on the HVAC system, and natural gas has been completely eliminated as a source of building heat. The terminal is nearly 90 years old, so hitting the savings goal was no small feat.

Shari’s Café and Pies in Lynwood is the first full-service restaurant to join the Better Buildings Challenge. It surpassed the goal of a 20 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2025 by upgrading to LED lighting inside and outside and replacing five heated dipper wells with new manual versions, achieving a 28 percent reduction in energy use and a 43 percent reduction in water use. The restaurant captures additional water, sewer and gas savings with a smart irrigation system that uses NOAA precipitation data to avoid watering when rain is coming.

The two companies join more than 345 Better Buildings Challenge partners across many building sectors. Nearly 38,000 properties have shared energy performance results and are saving an average of 2 percent per year.