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Kilowatt Crackdown Competition Winners Announced in Portland

May 15, 2014

Sixty-four local commercial building teams successfully embrace energy efficiency efforts  

May 16, 2014 – PORTLAND, Oregon – Energy Trust of Oregon, Clark Public Utilities, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Oregon, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), City of Portland, and Portland Development Commission announced the winners of the 2013 Kilowatt Crackdown, a competition to improve energy performance of commercial office buildings. The competition engaged 15 million square feet, or 20 percent of Oregon’s commercial leased office space in buildings greater than 50,000 square feet, in addition to buildings in Vancouver, Wash.

The Kilowatt Crackdown competition kicked off in January 2013 and 64 commercial buildings in the greater Portland metropolitan area and Vancouver, Wash., completed the 12-month program to save energy and reduce operating expenses. The goal of the competition was to increase adoption of energy efficiency best practices by providing building owners, managers, engineers and operators with resources to implement efficient practices as a competitive advantage. The program provided assistance in benchmarking energy use, analyzing opportunities for savings, identifying action items to improve building performance, implementing these improvements in partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon and Clark Public Utilities, and reporting on progress.

“Collaborating with premier partners allows us to elevate Portland as a leader in energy efficiency and in the reduction of carbon emissions,” said Susan Steward, Executive Director of BOMA Oregon.  “Bringing the public and private sectors together in this effort, with the largest amount of office floor space participating, maximizes our reach in bringing energy-efficient resources to the greater Portland metropolitan area.”

Kilowatt Crackdown determined the building winners by overall performance and improvement, with categories for buildings in their inaugural year in the competition as well as multiple-year participants. In addition, the jury awarded special recognition for “most aggressive” building team and an individual award for “energy efficiency champion.” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales joined the competition sponsors to recognize the buildings at the awards event yesterday evening.

“Increasing energy efficiency can save money and increase asset value. It also means happier tenants who want to stay in your buildings longer,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “As we update and implement our Climate Action Plan, I will look to our community to follow the example of business leaders like these building managers. As we’ve seen with this competition, reducing carbon emissions can be a great financial investment.”

Oregon Pacific Properties, which manages the Forum Building, continually makes efforts to emphasize sustainability throughout the building. As part of the Kilowatt Crackdown program’s technical scoping, Oregon Pacific Properties discovered gaps in the sheet metal panels on the building’s roof and made improvements to seal the building envelope to reduce the heating and cooling load. In addition, the company identified maintenance issues with the building’s automatic thermostat, and made improvements in the filtration of the cooling system to make it more energy efficient. The Forum Building received third place in a tie for highest-performing building in its inaugural year in the competition.

“This program gave us the opportunity to participate in a bigger vision for energy efficiency in the community, and being a part of a program that is larger than just your building is really encouraging,” said David Slawson, managing member at Oregon Pacific Properties. “This kind of program is important in the community as it provides a greater perspective on the importance of sustainability.”

1000 Broadway, managed by 1000 Inc., received third place for most improved building in its inaugural year. As part of an audit when 1000 Inc. took over management of the building, building managers began looking at new ways to improve energy efficiency. Participating in the Kilowatt Crackdown competition was a logical fit for their efforts. The first improvement 1000 Inc. implemented as part of the program was to add LED lighting and motion sensors to the building’s 24-hour access parking garage, resulting in significant energy savings. The company installed dampers and adjusted discharge pressure to reduce air-conditioning costs overnight, and upgraded the lobby with LED lighting to use less energy and reduce maintenance costs.

“Overall, this is one of the best run energy savings programs I have seen, and the team that supported us was passionate and proactive about providing different options and understanding the nuances of our building,” said Diane McMahon, president of 1000 Inc. “In addition to the financial savings, we are proud that our tenants recognize the building as environmentally conscious. I am looking forward to participating in the competition again in the future.”

The 2013 Kilowatt Crackdown winners are:

Highest-Performing Building (Inaugural Year Participants)

  • First place - Bonneville Power Administration Headquarters, managed by the Bonneville Power Administration
  • Second place - Multnomah Building, managed by Multnomah County, Oregon
  • Third place (tie) - Forum Building, managed by Oregon Pacific Properties
  • Third place (tie) - World Trade Center Portland, managed by World Trade Center Properties/Portland General Electric

Highest-Performing Building (Multiple-Year Participants)

  • First place - Congress Center, managed by Shorenstein
  • Second place - Liberty Centre, managed by Langley Investment Properties
  • Third place - Oregon Square 729, managed by American Assets Trust

Most Improved Building (Inaugural Year Participants)

  • First place - The Reserve, managed by Harsch
  • Second place - McGillivray Place, managed by Melvin Mark Co.
  • Third place - 1000 Broadway, managed by 1000 Inc.

Most Improved Building (Multiple-Year Participants)

  • First place - The Portland Building, managed by City of Portland
  • Second place - Pacwest Center, managed by Langley Investment Properties
  • Third place - Portland City Hall, managed by City of Portland

Jury Awards

  • Most Aggressive - OHSU Center for Health and Healing, managed by CBRE
  • Energy Efficiency Champion – Ty Barker, General Manager, Unico Properties LLC

More information on the Kilowatt Crackdown is available at www.kilowatt-crackdown.com/portland.

About BOMA Oregon
Founded in 1915, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Oregon is the industry’s leading commercial real estate organization, representing over 40 million square feet of commercial real estate in Oregon. Through its strong membership base, leadership, networking, advocacy and professional development, BOMA Oregon is the voice of the commercial real estate industry.  BOMA Oregon promotes commercial real estate through leadership, networking, advocacy and professional development opportunities within the Commercial Real Estate Industry.

About NEEA’s BetterBricks
BetterBricks is the commercial building initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), which is supported by northwest electric utilities. Through BetterBricks, NEEA advances ideas to accelerate energy savings in new and existing commercial buildings. BetterBricks’ education and training, online resources and recognition of industry leaders guide and inspire building professionals to embrace best practices, improve energy performance and achieve their sustainability goals. Visit www.BetterBricks.com to connect to these powerful energy ideas and more.

About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) develops creative and practical solutions to enhance Portland’s livability, preserve distinctive places and plan for a resilient future. BPS collaborates with community partners to provide comprehensive land use, neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental planning, and urban design; research, policy and technical services to advance green building; energy efficiency and the use of solar and renewable energy, waste prevention, composting and recycling, and a sustainable food system; and, policy and actions to address climate change.

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