You are here

Energy Department Recognizes Orlando Better Buildings Challenge Partners for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

February 25, 2016 - 9:22am


ORLANDO, Fla. – As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today recognized the city of Orlando and Parkway Properties for their leadership in improving energy efficiency across a combined 20 million square feet of building space by 20 percent within 10 years. Through the department’s Better Buildings Challenge, Orlando-based Parkway Properties’ showcase project, office tower One Orlando Centre, is expected to save nearly 18 percent in energy costs and over 1.7 million gallons of water through energy and water efficiency efforts.

“The work being done in communities like Orlando is essential to our long-term goal of reducing the energy bills of our nation’s commercial and industrial buildings,” said Maria T. Vargas, director of the Better Buildings Challenge. “I am also impressed and energized by the level of commitment and collaboration among our private sector partners in Florida, such as Parkway Properties.”

The department toured the extensive renovations of One Orlando Centre, a 19-story, 355,000 square foot office building in downtown Orlando originally built in 1987. After improving heating and cooling systems and reducing energy and water consumption, the newly refurbished building has quickly saved Parkway Properties over $75,000 in energy and water costs annually.

One Orlando Centre has seen significant annual energy and water savings of close to 18 percent, with projections for even deeper energy and water performance improvements in 2016. Its efficiency measures included replacing aging chillers with high-efficiency ones, adding window glazing to reduce heat loads and installing new state-of-the-art cooling towers that have generated over 1.7 million gallons of water savings within the first year of operation.

“Taking on the extensive renovations at One Orlando Centre has not only resulted in high-quality improvements for our tenants in a top-tier market, it helps us meet our own aggressive sustainability targets,” said Bruce Hall, director of engineering for Parkway Properties. “Our commitment to the sustainability has motivated our teams to tap into the Department of Energy’s incredible resources, on everything from plug loads to education and outreach programs.”

The city of Orlando has made a commitment to reduce its energy intensity by 20 percent within 10 years, with a total commitment of 6.8 million square feet. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Orlando is undergoing $17.5 million of energy efficiency upgrades to 56 municipal facilities, including lighting upgrades, heating and cooling renovations, building automation and controls and other cost-effective energy conservation measures. In partnership with the local municipal utility, the city will also work to replace streetlights with new LED technologies.

"The energy efficiency upgrades we are planning for our city will transform Orlando into one of the most environmentally, economically and socially vibrant communities in the nation," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "Through this work and our partnership in the Better Buildings Challenge, we are realizing significant energy bill savings, improved maintenance costs and more local jobs, all while using revolving cost savings to fund future projects."

As a cornerstone of the President's Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Challenge is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public-sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. More than 285 organizations are partnering with the department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, partners have shared energy data for more than 32,000 properties and are reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 4,500 properties, and 10 percent or more at 12,000 properties. Learn more about Better Buildings Challenge partner results, showcase projects and innovative solutions being shared with others at