Energy Efficiency - February 15, 2017
Pittsburgh tower achieves Energy Star certification
U.S. Steel Tower photo provided by evolveEA.
An iconic downtown Pittsburgh high-rise, the 64-story U.S. Steel Tower, was recently awarded certification from the U.S. EPA's Energy Star program after a series of energy efficiency retrofits.
The tower, built in 1970, is the 7th largest high-rise office building in the U.S. by square footage, according to a Feb. 13 news release announcing the certification. The building is managed by Winthrop Management LP, which teamed with sustainable architecture and consulting firm evolveEA on the energy efficiency improvements.
The upgrades, according to the release, included:
- Lighting: Installation of highly efficient LEDs in the building's lobbies and new lighting in the garage.
- VFDs and HVAC upgrades: Variable Frequency Drives and state-of-the-art HVAC technologies.
- Elevator upgrades: A new energy efficient elevator system.
- Tenant engagement: Winthrop and evolveEA collaborated with building tenants to establish a sustainability committee that teaches and encourages eco-friendly behavior among occupants while measuring effectiveness.
The companies said measures to save energy were first channeled toward achieving certification under a program of the Building Owners and Managers Association and were subsequently leveraged toward achieving Energy Star certification. From a 2010 baseline, the U.S. Steel Tower reduced its energy use by 28.5% from 67,397,908 kWh to 48,226,200 kWh, while building occupancy rose from 78% in 2009 to 98% in 2013.
The achievement garnered the attention of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, who cited it as an example of the leadership building owners can take in providing transparent and available data.
"The city's recently passed energy transparency ordinance will help support these energy efficiency activities," the mayor said in a statement. "We look forward to partnering with property managers like Winthrop to further advance energy efficiency across the city."
In 2013, Winthrop Management signed the U.S. Steel Tower on to the Pittsburgh 2030 District challenge, a public-private partnership to create a high performance and energy efficient building district in downtown Pittsburgh by the year 2030. As part of this challenge, businesses are committing to reduce energy usage to 50% below the national average over the next 13 years.
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