DOE Recognizes Oregon Cities, Public Schools in Better Buildings Challenge

October 9, 2014 By Karen Henry

beaverton-library-energy-manageThe US Department of Energy recognized the cities of Beaverton and Hillsboro, Ore., as well as the Portland Public School District for reducing their energy use. As Better Buildings Challenge partners, they have committed to reduce the energy use in ten million square feet of building space by 20 percent over the next decade.

The city of Beaverton is working across its departments, the Beaverton School District and privately owned buildings to identify efficiency investments and track savings over time. Energy savings initiatives at the Beaverton City Library have lead to an expected annual savings of 20 percent, or more than $20,000. The city upgraded lighting and heating controls and the heating and cooling monitoring system. It also added a new roof complete with solar arrays. Over the last four years, Beaverton has achieved energy savings of 15 percent.

The city of Hillsboro has achieved 11 percent energy savings across its entire building portfolio as a result of facility lighting retrofits, installation of LED traffic signal bulbs, HVAC replacement and lighting controls, as well as the addition of nearly 200 kW of solar generation to city facilities. The city also renovated the Shute Park Library, installing a new HVAC system, replacing windows, upgrading lighting and adding insulation. In order to preserve the historical integrity of the library, air ducts were placed between bookshelves, and computer stations were removed to allow natural light into the facility.

Portland Public Schools is driving energy reductions at 90 educational and support facilities comprising more than 8 million square feet. The school district upgraded the mechanical and electrical infrastructure and equipment at Benson Polytechnic High School, its Better Buildings Challenge showcase project. Much of the high school’s infrastructure dated back to its original construction in 1916.

To date, more than 200 organizations are partnering with DOE as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. Across the country, Better Buildings Challenge partners are implementing energy efficiency at more than 9,000 facilities with more than 2,100 buildings improving efficiency by at least 20 percent, and another 4,500 by at least 10 percent, compared to their baseline years.

Photo of the Beaverton City Library via Shutterstock.

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