Portland Office Buildings Crack Down on Energy

June 25, 2014

How competition winners slashed consumption.

Vying for high performance honors, 64 leased commercial office buildings in Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, spent the last year battling to see who could best improve their energy efficiency.

Contenders in the energy competition, dubbed the Kilowatt Crackdown, cover about 15 million square feet. They represent roughly 20% of Oregon’s commercial leased office space in buildings bigger than 50,000 square feet. The program provided help with benchmarking, analysis of savings opportunities, identifying action items, and implementing improvements.

The competition paid off for entrants like Oregon Pacific Properties, which entered its Forum Building and ultimately tied for third place in the Highest Performing Building (Inaugural Year) category. During the technical scoping period, the company discovered gaps in the sheet metal panels on the building’s roof and sealed the envelope to reduce the heating and cooling load. The team also identified maintenance issues with the building’s automatic thermostat and improved the cooling system’s filtration to increase its efficiency.

The Kilowatt Crackdown was also a logical fit for 1000 Broadway, the third-place winner for Most Improved Building (Inaugural Year). Its management company, 1000 Inc., performed an audit when they began managing the building to identify new energy efficiency opportunities, one of which was the competition. They kicked off an improvement initiative by adding LED lighting and motion sensors to the building’s 24-hour parking garage, which resulted in significant energy savings. Dampers and an adjustment to discharge pressure helped secure additional savings in overnight air conditioning costs, and the lobby was upgraded with LED lighting to further reduce costs for energy and maintenance.

To learn more about the competition, visit click here.

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