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Atlanta Regional Office Receives ENERGY STAR® Label

Photo of the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center

The Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center.

The Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center (SNAFC), in which EPA's Region 4 Office is the largest tenant, achieved an ENERGY STAR® building label in April 2005, the result of a two-year coordinated effort between EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Extensive recommissioning efforts and other energy conservation initiatives have reduced energy consumption 12 percent (compared to 2003 consumption), saving approximately $200,000 in energy costs. SNAFC, one of the largest federal buildings in the country, is now rated in the top 20 percent of office buildings across the country in terms of energy performance.

A multidisciplinary team representing GSA, DOE, building occupants, and SNAFC's operations and maintenance (O&M) contractor met monthly to plan, implement, and monitor energy conservation initiatives. The process included an initial energy and safety audit, energy modeling and simulations, and several pilot projects to test features such as occupancy sensors for power strips and lighting. EPA provided submeters to help monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of pilot projects. The team also educated building occupants on the ENERGY STAR label and how to contribute to achieving energy goals.

The team helped reduce and balance heating, ventilation, and air conditioning loads, banned inefficient appliances (such as personal space heaters), and drafted a building covenant outlining energy efficiency guidelines for SNAFC occupants. In addition, EPA installed occupancy sensors and distributed energy-efficient power strips on several of the floors it occupies.

These measures reduced building energy consumption from 74,000 British thermal units (Btu) per rentable square foot in 2001 to 60,000 Btu per rentable square foot by the end of 2004. The facility earned a rating of 80 on ENERGY STAR's 1-100 scale for office building energy performance (buildings that score above 75 qualify to receive an ENERGY STAR building label) and a Federal Energy and Water Management Award for Energy Efficiency/Energy Project Management.

The SNAFC ENERGY STAR team meets regularly to discuss system maintenance and future opportunities to improve energy efficiency. The team recently reached an agreement with the building vendor to de-lamp vending machines, and following EPA's lead, GSA now plans to install occupancy sensors throughout the building. EPA plans to purchase ENERGY STAR refrigerators to replace older, inefficient models and is providing technical support for SNAFC's next target, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Exit EPA Disclaimer certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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