Roya Stanley (left) on a tour of the Snipes Academy of Arts and Design with the building's architect -- Thomas Hughes. Through interactive real-time energy data tools, Snipes students incorporate energy use data in their classroom projects and studies. | Photo Courtesy of the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance.
In Wilmington, North Carolina, local institutions are leading the way in building efficiency and sustainability. From the WAVE Transit Forden Station to the Wilmington Convention Center to the city’s street sweeper complex, Wilmington is saving money by saving energy and supporting job growth in energy efficiency technologies.
Last week, I experienced first-hand how Wilmington public buildings are leveraging energy efficiency and clean energy technologies to save money and reduce energy waste. I joined Representative Mike McIntyre, Mayor Bill Saffo and Joy Allen, executive director of the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance, on a tour of the city’s energy efficient buildings.
At the Forden Station -- the first LEED Gold registered public building to break ground in the state of North Carolina -- on-site geothermal heating and cooling systems have helped reduce energy consumption by 45 percent. Snipes Academy of Arts and Design utilizes a water source heat pump system and outside air system for the school’s heating and cooling. Through interactive real-time energy data tools, Snipes students incorporate energy use data in their classroom projects and studies.
Reducing energy waste in buildings is an important element for a sustainable energy future. In the United States, buildings consume about 40 percent of all U.S. energy, contributing a significant amount to overall energy costs. In Wilmington, the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance is helping train local energy auditors and building analysts to conduct energy efficiency upgrades and capture the savings.
Nationally, through the Better Buildings Challenge, more than 60 companies, cities, universities, hospitals and other partners have committed to upgrading more than 1.6 billion square feet of building space across the country -- which will create jobs, eliminate waste and help make our commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020.
Check out more on the Better Buildings Challenge HERE.