Battle of the buildings

U.S. Green Building Council sponsors ‘Battle of the Buildings’ in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan is sponsoring its first “Battle of the Buildings,” a competition aimed at reducing energy consumption in commercial buildings.

The year-long contest will track energy use and encourage energy-efficient practices across the region in a spirit of friendly competition, according to its sponsors. More than 1 million square feet of building space has already been entered.

On March 31, 2014, building registration will close and categories will be determined based on type and number of building entries, according to a news release announcing the contest.

A workshop to introduce contestants to Portfolio Manager, the Environmental Protection Agency’s online energy tracking tool, will be held Friday, Jan. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hurst Mechanical, 5800 Safety Drive, Belmont.

Registration for this workshop is free to participants, $10 for USGBC West Michigan Chapter members, and $20 for all others. Registration can be found online

Throughout the competition, participants will cut energy waste through energy-saving activities such as making improvements to the building, optimizing operations and maintenance, and engaging occupants to save.

The buildings that demonstrate the greatest reduction in EUI (energy use intensity) during the competition will be recognized as a winner at a 2015 energy summit. This summit will consist of a panel discussion of participants, vendor booths, and an awards banquet.

For information on how to enter, building registration, or to become a Battle partner, visit

Jim Harger covers business for MLive/Grand Rapids Press. Email him or follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google+.