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State of Michigan Escanaba State Office FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN WATER CATEGORY Escanaba, MI 2017 marks the first year Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition has named winners for the Water Category. In one year, the Escanaba State Office reduced their water use intensity by an outstanding 77.8 percent. As the office is the first building to be awarded for water reduction, the begging question lies, “How did they do it?” Originally constructed in 1955, the building is one of 41 state-owned buildings managed by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). When addressing the improvements to the buildings, the DTMB Buildings Operations Division (BOD) assures a safe, healthy, energy efficient work environment to state employees of Michigan.

BOD’s approach to energy and water efficiency is to employ proven conservation measures while always looking for new technology and practices. The department understands that savings can accrue through multiple sources and it saw potential in the Escanaba Office’s water usage. Sarah Goodrich, energy efficiency specialist reports, “We determined facility restrooms is where the highest volume of potable water was being used, and therefore, had the largest savings potential.” Facility staff identified automatic low-flow flush valves as a great savings opportunity. The technology conserves water and improves the efficiency of exist-

ing receptacles for building occupants. The team replaced existing valves with low-volume automatic flush valves reducing water volume and improving the performance of restroom receptacles. DTMB realizes that being more efficient – doing more with less – will ensure the office remains environmentally and economically sustainable. DTMB will continue to take advantage of opportunities to reduce emissions, while providing clean, efficient, cost-effective energy for years to come. The Escanaba State Office Building achieved Energy Star certification in 2017. DTMB fully supports Michigan Battle of the Buildings, as it is an initiative which encourages businesses to save energy. “We

joined the Michigan Battle of the Buildings contest for the friendly competition” says Goodrich “the Michigan Battle of the Buildings

competition has helped us realize how our energy management efforts measure with other similar Michigan facilities.”

Primera Plastics, Inc SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN WATER CATEGORY Zeeland, MI Primera Plastics, Inc. is an entrepreneurial business located in Zeeland, Michigan with an allAmerican story of industrial development. Beginning in 1994, the twoperson, two-machine operation has since expanded to 140 personnel with 32 machines in operation. The injection molding company continues to smartly seek cuttingedge innovation. As a participant of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings for three years, Primera Plastics’ warehouse building won the Warehouse/ Distribution title in 2016 with an energy reduction of more than 23 percent. This year, the Primera Plastics Manufactuing/Industrial building is finishing second in the competition’s new Water Category

after reducing its water consumption by 48 percent. Primera has experienced the value of reducing energy and water consumption. Improving its water treatment system was something “which should have been done sooner” says Jim Belinski, Manufacturing Engineer. Last year, it upgraded to an OSHA-approved chemical, closed loop system. Switching from the former system essentially “turned off the tap,” avoiding the drain and purge necessities for the cooling tower in which 3,000 gallons constantly circulate. Not only does it see the savings in the utility bills, but it’s also evident in time management. Equipment downtime has

been practically eliminated, as machines are no longer overheating or in need of filter cleaning due to cooling inadequacies. “Improved efficiency translates to higher effectivity and a better product,” says Belinski. Time is money, Belinski affirms as he reflects on the cost of inactive machines. Primera was experiencing random downtime events three to four times a week with each occurrence lasting 40-45 minutes. Eventually “enough was enough” Belinski jokes, “it was time to dig into this and see what could be done.” The cooling tower project with KML Specialty Chemicals out of Grandville was paramount to increasing the productivity of their running hours, and mitigat-

ing thousands of gallons down the drain annually. Thanks to the enhanced water treatment method employed

by the cooling tower, Primera’s machinery is operating closer to designed 90-plus percent efficiency capacities.


GROWTH IS ONLY LIMITED BY YOUR IMAGINATION LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR ... I love the famous quote from the letter Isaac Newton wrote to Robert Hooke in the 1600s in reference to studying gravity: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” That is so true, isn’t it? The Ford Model T was revolutionary in 1920. The vehicle of 2120 will look and perform much different from the Tesla of today. Innovation is a journey of discovery…you don’t know what you don’t know…and growth is only limited by your imagination. We can give credit for where we are today to the people before us: our giants. One day our children, hovering in their decked-out 2120 cars, will reflect on the discoveries of their giants: us. Discovery can be rather humbling. The world of energy conservation can be tricky to navigate, and there will be peaks and valleys along the way. From a larger point of view, it takes many individuals charting the course toward a better future for all.

The consistent growth of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings is a testament to the culture of our mitten state. Together we are creating change, we are having an impact and we are setting an example across the country. The program encourages mentorship among building owners & operators while highlighting the “best of the best” each year and the magnitude of our significant progress. We are leaders who demystify the complexity of high-performing buildings and break it down to small steps on a long journey. Together we are helping one another reduce energy waste and control costs. During 2017, Battle competitors diverted $7.4 million dollars that would have been spent on utility bills. That’s equivalent to the electric use in 8,800 homes for a year. The sky is the limit when you are working among giants. When the Michigan Battle of the Buildings launched in 2014, our goal was to encour-

age one million square feet to join in the friendly energy competition. Nothing to lose, savings to gain. What’s not to love? In the inaugural year, 50 building owners & operators representing 11.5 Million square feet across Michigan came together to share their experiences. We talked about technologies that worked and ones that didn’t. Each year thereafter, the growth has been astounding. Fast forward to 2018 and reflect on the spirit of friendly competition and the value of storytelling. The Michigan Battle of the Buildings “Biggest Loser” styled energy competition has grown nearly 200 times that original goal. What will 886 buildings with a footprint of 193 MILLION square feet accomplish? I can’t wait to find out!

Cheri Holman Director


University of Michigan School of Public Health & Angell Complex FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN EDUCATION CATEGORY Ann Arbor, MI SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN EDUCATION CATEGORY Ann Arbor, MI University of Michigan is committed to reducing its carbon footprint 25 percent by 2025. The university’s Energy Management team is responsible for 15.7 million square feet of building space that includes research labs, classrooms and offices. The university has swept the Education Category of the 2017 Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition with The School of Public Health taking the first place accolades and Angell Complex coming in second. The two buildings reduced energy consumption an impressive 34.57 percent and 22.59 percent, respectively. This is the second year the U of M has competed in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings. The university registered 24 buildings, more than twice the number submitted in their first year of competition. In 2016, U of M’s Kellogg Eye Center and Medical Sciences Research Building 3 were both named Biggest Losers at the 2017 Michigan Energy Summit. First Place: University of Michigan School of Public Health The School of Public Health’s energy efficiency improvements included lamp upgrades from T-8 32-watt to T-8 25-watt and a reprogramming of its steam control valves, reducing temperatures to conserve steam use. Insulation improvements have been made to traps and valves, and a yearly

steam trap testing program is now in place to identify failed traps. The building’s mechanical systems went through a recommissioning program to bring the systems back to peak operating efficiencies. Additionally, the School uses what it calls a “laboratory hibernation program” to identify and power down underutilized labs until they are needed. “The School of Public Health has worked closely with the Office of Campus Sustainability to improve not only the physical building systems, but the culture of sustainability with its occupants,” says Andrew Cieslinski, a regional energy manager in the university’s Office of Campus Sustainability. Efficiency programs planned for the school include a complete building upgrade to LED lighting, the replacement of two steam absorber chillers, and an HVAC/ lighting controls combination project that looks to install occupancy sensors intended to control these systems when office areas are not occupied. The University of Michigan School of Public Health is ranked among the top public health schools in the country. Founded in 1941, the School educates and trains more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students each year. The Salk polio vaccine was devised here, and it’s also the birthplace of Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance.

Second Place: University of Michigan Angell Complex U of M’s Angell Complex is an academic building on the Ann Arbor campus named in honor of James Burrill Angell, the university’s president from 1871 to 1909. Notably, it was the site of the first teach-in protesting the Vietnam War, in March 1965. The Angell Complex’s energy efficiency initiatives fall under the responsibility of U of M’s Energy Management team, charged with reducing the amount of energy campus buildings use. As an institution comprised of nearly 400 buildings, the University requires a significant amount of energy to meet its educational, research and operational needs. Its efforts focus on strategies to reduce costs while supporting U of M’s sustainability goal of reducing greenhouse emissions. Recent energy efficiency projects specific to Angell Complex include lamp upgrades from T-8 32-watt to T-8 25-watt bulbs and upgrades to the building’s pipe insulation. Air handling units now operate on a schedule based on building occupancy. Additionally, steam traps are tested and repaired on an annual basis. Planned projects for Angell Hall include switching the building over to LED lighting for linear and downlights. Alternatives will be considered for winter chilled water, including the option of eliminating free cooling by producing chilled water in the air handling units. “The Battle of the Buildings provides us a platform to share

the good work we’re doing here at the University of Michigan,” says Kevin Morgan, manager, Energy Management. “This exposure can spur on conversations and collaboration with other academic institutions and building owners alike. The recognition is always a benefit to us to promote our work here on campus and

across the state.” “We continuously look to impact the environment in better ways,” says Cieslinski “our work is typically done behind the scenes and building occupants sometimes never realize we have made changes.”

BarFly Ventures - The Waldron Public House FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN ENTERTAINMENT/HOTEL/RESTAURANT CATEGORY Grand Rapids, MI The Waldron Public House, located in downtown Grand Rapids, is a three-floor event-hosting venue designed for parties of 50 to 300 people. Events are catered inhouse out of the building’s two kitchens. The Waldron’s energy and waste management activities are significantly impacted by the constantly changing variables of its guest bookings, including the amount of food ordered, the number of floors rented, and the guest count for each event. Consequently, The Waldron’s energy efficiency efforts focus largely on the times when the building is not in active use,

which is typically during daytime hours. During these periods of low human activity lighting is minimized, the heating or air conditioning is turned down and all kitchen equipment that draws a lot of energy is turned off. Over the course of 2017 the Waldron was able to reduce their demand for energy by a notable 16.04 percent earning them the title of First Place in the Entertainment/Hotel/Restaurant Category of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition. “We initially joined the Michigan Battle of the Buildings to help us gather a baseline for our current energy consumption,” explains BarFly Ventures Sustainability Coordinator Carrie Veldman. “Since then, we’ve put some simple practices into place to take care of the low-hanging fruit and have seen good results.” The building underwent a remodel of its first floor and guest restrooms in early 2017, when much of its old and inef-

ficient lighting was removed and replaced with incandescent bulbs of a lower wattage. Veldman says they will continue to look for opportunities with a quick payback. This is the third year BarFly Ventures has competed in the Battle, and Veldman attends the Michigan Energy Summit each year. “The event draws attention to daily energy consumption in different buildings around Michigan” explains Veldman. “Energy consumption is not something that we think about every day. We flip a switch, and the lights come on. We press a button, and the room temperature changes.” Veldman believes that having an event that highlights energy reduction is a big step in the right direction. Veldman provides these tips to reduce energy with no upfront investment: “Savings can be obtained by just taking an extra two seconds a day to think about your energy consumption and

adjusting it to what you actually need. Only have a couple dishes that need to be washed? Wait until you have a full rack to run the dishwasher. Is lunch a bit slower today? Turn off half of the grill. Heading into the walk-in cooler? Shut the door behind you. Leaving an empty room? Turn off the light. Are you the closing manager? Make sure the temperature is set

before you leave.” Veldman believes that if each employee thinks about their impact on energy consumption, it will really add up over the course of a year. The Waldron is part of BarFly Ventures, which also includes the HopCat chain of brew pubs, Stella’s Lounge, and the Grand Rapids Brewing Company.


Celebration! Cinema SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN ENTERTAINMENT/HOTEL/RESTAURANT CATEGORY Benton Harbor, MI Celebration! Cinema views its sustainability initiatives as a responsibility to natural resources stewardship. Specific to its energy reduction goals, the theater chain seeks to take advantage of new technology that provides the ability to reduce energy consumption in an economically feasible manner. This includes coordinating its efficiency improvements with rebates available from utility companies, government agencies and other interested parties. Celebration! Cinema Benton Harbor placed Second in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings Entertainment/Hotel/Restaurant Category. The theatre is enjoying a 13.34 percent reduction in building energy consumption during 2017 when compared to

2016 energy use. “I have actively been working on our energy consumption and how we could reduce it for over 10 years now,” says Roger Lubs, Vice President of Construction. “When Consumers Energy first started coming out with rebates that were attractive and offered a real incentive to replace items that represented a quantifiable return on investment, it made sense to actively participate.” As time went on, Lubs says his upgrades worked out financially, first with CFL lights and eventually with LEDs. With each passing year, he observed costs coming down on the new technology, resulting in paybacks “even better” than he had anticipated. Projects completed at the

Benton Harbor theater include the aforementioned lighting upgrades to LEDs. A new companywide policy introduced motion sensor light switches to non-public areas. Benton Harbor’s HVAC systems also underwent a have been tuned-up, and kitchen equipment was upgraded to ENERGY STAR® appliances. “A lot of our theatres were just getting to the point where many appliances were aging out and needed replacing anyway,” explains Lubs. “We made a conscious decision to replace refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers and hot water heaters with ENERGY STAR® rated appliances, because that seemed like the right way to go.” Efficiency adjustments have been made to roof top heating & cooling units, and energy use throughout the building is now monitored monthly. Lubs chose monthly over daily monitoring “because our daily usage differs with movie attendance. Our weekends and holidays are quite busy, with doors opening frequently and a lot of body heat in highly attended movies.”

Celebration! Cinema’s planned energy efficiency projects will follow this pattern across its other Michigan properties. The company is reviewing new energy monitoring controls for each of its buildings, and recently invested in an infrared camera to look for areas of potential energy leaks within its buildings. “Saving energy is not just project by project, but rather a lens we look at and evaluate everything we do,” says Lubs. This is Celebration! Cinema’s

first year participating in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings. “We couldn’t be happier to see that our efforts compare favorably to others with a similar focus,” Lubs says. Celebration! Cinema, also known as Loeks Theatres, Inc., is a movie theater chain headquartered in Grand Rapids, with venues serving central and West Michigan cities including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Mount Pleasant and Muskegon.

Fifth Third Bank Westland & Plymouth Banking Centers FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN FINANCIAL INSTITUTION CATEGORY Westland, MI SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN FINANCIAL INSTITUTION CATEGORY Plymouth, MI “As a large owner and operator of facilities, Fifth Third views improving energy efficiency as a tool to reduce costs, energy use and environmental impacts,” says Environmental Sustainability Leader Jeremy Faust. “We have a corporate goal to reduce energy consumption 25 percent by 2022.” They’re headed in the right direction with two of Fifth Third’s Banking Centers winning top spots in the 2017 Michigan Battle of the Buildings’ Financial Institution Category. The Westland Center branch earned First Place honors by reducing its energy needs by 10.96 percent and the Plymouth Center branch earned Second Place with a reduction of 8.40 percent. Faust credits the savings are largely due to improvements in routine maintenance procedures. They’ve instituted a new set of

standards that ensures all equipment is routinely checked and maintained. “Proper calibration of HVAC equipment, cleaning and regular filter replacements have a significant impact” says Faust. In October 2016, Fifth Third announced a $4 million LED lighting retrofit program. The initiative replaced 90,000 light bulbs at 136 Fifth Third facilities. The upgrades will reduce lightingrelated energy use by 50 percent; energy costs by $650,000 per year; and greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7 percent, while also providing a better working environment for employees and reducing maintenance expenses. “We participate in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings to increase focus on energy savings and to encourage friendly competition among our team members,” Faust says. “The competition also serves as an information-sharing opportunity to learn from our peers about energy solutions that can help us meet our own energy reduction goals.” Fifth Third has set a goal to achieve 100 percent renewable power by 2022 – a target it expects

to hit four years early, since signing a contract to purchase solar power from Mooresville, North Carolina-based SunEnergy1. Fifth Third will buy all of the energy output from SunEnergy1’s planned $200 million, 80-megawatt Aulander Holloman solar facility in Hertford County, North Carolina, then sell the energy to customers in the North Carolina market. By doing so, Fifth Third will become the first publiclytraded company to commit to 100 percent renewable energy. Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of December 31, 2017, the Company had $142 billion in assets and operated more than 1,100 full-service banks and 2,400plus Fifth Third-branded ATMs in 10 states, including Michigan. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2017, had $362 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $37 billion for individuals, corporation and notfor-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses.


Spectrum Health – Reed City Hospital & United Hospital of Greenville FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN HEALTH/HOSPITAL CATEGORY Reed City, MI SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN HEALTH/HOSPITAL CATEGORY Greenville, MI After two years as runner up in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition, Spectrum Health finds themselves in First (and Second) Place of the Health/Hospital Category for 2017. Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital tops the field with a 7.52 percent reduction in energy usage while Spectrum’s United Hospital of Greenville follows close behind with a 7.07 percent reduction capturing Second Place from a field of 29 buildings in the Health/ Hospital Category. With each passing year the Biggest Loser styled energy reduction war attracts more participants and the field continues to raise the bar on what can be achieved when hospitals take an active approach to reducing wasted energy. “Winning an award is great,” says Spectrum Facilities Energy Project Manager Jim Karas, “but the main reason we track Spectrum Health’s energy is to show that we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars when equipment is broken or not running correctly. This is much more serious than people realize and if you don’t track it, no one knows it’s even happening.” The Spectrum Health System is a not-for-profit, integrated, managed health care organization based in West Michigan with headquarters in Grand Rapids. Spectrum Health’s subsidiaries include hospitals, treatment facilities, urgent care centers and physician practices that span more than 13 West Michigan counties. Spectrum Health serves thousands of patients, visitors and

employees each year while operating their facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This results in a high amount of energy needed to maintain quality patient care. A small reduction in energy consumption can have a big impact on the bottom line, freeing up those dollars to invest in new technology. First Place - Reed City Hospital Reed City Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital located in Osceola County, recognized two years in a row as a Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group. As the only hospital in its county, Reed City Hospital provides vital services including emergency care, lab, radiology, a walk-in clinic, surgery and family practice services. The hospital has an attached 50-bed long-term care facility which is consistently named a Four- or Five-Star Facility by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Reed City Hospital also includes a state-of-the-art cancer center, opened in 2013, where patients can receive radiation, chemotherapy and free wellness services. Karas says the primary driver of savings at Reed City was the replacement of an older chiller with a new high-efficiency model. Two older air handling units (AHUs) were also replaced. “The new chiller has better part-load efficiency and can operate at lower outdoor air temperatures,” he explains. “The older AHUs were in rough shape and could not bring in adequate outdoor air to maintain the required space tem-

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL 2017 WINNERS! WE LOOK FORWARD TO COMPETING AGAIN IN 2018. /nicholssupply /nicholspaper /company/nichols-paper

peratures, so the chiller was being run to compensate for the lack of outdoor air.” Other upgrades included the installation of new controls on the radiant heat equipment for the hospital’s office area. Second Place - United Hospital, Greenville Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville is a community hospital serving greater Montcalm County with 49 acute-care beds and 39 long-term care beds. Patients have access to physician specialists and sub-specialists in a state-of-the-art facility with services including emergency and long-term care, women’s health, rehabilitation services, cancer care, radiology and lab services, cancer care and surgical services. Several recent energy efficiency projects initiated at United Hospital contributed to its Battle of the Buildings victory. Karas worked with Trane, a global manufacturer of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and building management systems and controls, to optimize United Hospital’s chiller plant. Adjustments were made to the sequence of the second chiller including resetting the supply temperature based on outdoor air and variable frequency drives were added to pumps. The controls for the snow melt system also were replaced. “The system was running on days that it did not have to, and at a higher temperature than necessary,” Karas explains. Additionally, lighting for parking lots and other areas is being upgraded to LED. In fact, United and Reed City Hospitals are part of a systemwide changeover to LED lighting. Karas acknowledges that LED’s time has arrived: “Changing the lighting gets very little pushback from our occupants,” he says. “It’s something everyone appreciates.” Projects planned for United Hospital include replacing the hot water pumps with variable speed pumps, a complete replacement

of one air-handling unit and a refresh of the controls, motors and fans in another unit. Karas says Spectrum Health competes in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings because “I was already tracking the buildings in ENERGY STAR®, so it (the datagathering) was easy.” The main thing he discovered in preparing Spectrum’s Battle data was minor tracking discrepancies with the billing information he was entering into ENERGY STAR®. Sustainability at Spectrum Health Each year, Spectrum Health sets a system-wide goal of achieving $500 thousand in energy savings via reduced electricity and gas usage across its regional hospitals and downtown Grand Rapids cam-

pus. Spectrum’s energy reduction efforts focus largely on opportunities to drive down costs as they deal with funding cutbacks. “It’s important to us that we reduce pollution by getting equipment running as designed to improve conditions for our building occupants,” explains Karas. The health care system reports it has annually reduced its greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered in a 2,072acre forest. Recent sustainability-focused initiatives have included the elimination of Keurig-style plastic K-cups from Spectrum’s coffee options as part of a larger effort to eliminate or recycle the significant amount of plastic generated in healthcare operations and treatment. These actions contributed to Spectrum’s successful diversion of more than 3 million pounds. of waste away from landfill. The health care provider also manages a battery recycling program at several locations.


Coastal Container FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRIAL CATEGORY Holland, MI Coastal makes sustainable and responsible practices a fundamental element of the production process, from efficient, costeffectively designed packaging to building operations. The company’s entire 235,000-square-foot production facility is heated using post-consumer wood waste from area businesses, notably contract furniture maker Haworth. The production machinery is powered with energy-efficient variable frequency drives. The company recycles scrap plastics and collects all scrap corrugated material, which is returned to the paper mill for reprocessing, then cycled back to Coastal as

products. All corrugated materials are SFI Certified™, assuring all raw materials come from legal and responsible sources. “We try to find ways to avoid waste and save money in any and all areas of our business,” says Supply Chain Manager Curt Shosten. “We are diligent in tracking down waste throughout the company.” Coastal Container is working with Foresight consulting firm in an ongoing effort to identify waste and improve efficiencies throughout their operations. Coastal Container placed First in the Manufacturing/Industrial category, with a total energy reduction of 28.71 percent dur-

ing 2017. It’s the second year in a row the company was crowned a ‘Biggest Loser’ in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings. In 2016, the manufacturer reduced its building energy consumption by 19 percent. Coastal Container’s latest energy efficiency improvements included replacing all of the lighting with high-efficiency fluorescent bulbs. It is now looking at converting to LED both throughout the plant and outside the building. “LED has been on our radar for a few years, and the pricing has really come down,” Shosten says. “This is probably the year we take the next step.” Shosten looks forward to the Michigan Energy Summit. “I hope to find some new strategies we can incorporate into our energy saving initiatives.” Participating in the competition further focused the company’s energy efficiency efforts and Shosten believes it’s a testa-

ment to the culture at Coastal, where they take pride in doing the right thing for their employees, suppliers and community by reducing their use of natural resources. Coastal Container supplies businesses throughout the Midwest with durable, cost-effective packaging products from its

headquarters in Holland. The company produces corrugated cardboard, plastic, foam and mixed-material boxes, trays, clamshells, kits, partitions and other packaging solutions. It also offers customers design/test services, inventory management, various delivery options and high-quality printing.

Nu Wool, Inc. SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN MANUFACTURING/ INDUSTRIAL CATEGORY Jenison, MI “Since energy efficiency is such a huge part of our business, we take it seriously in our facility and production process,” says Vice President of Operations Matthew Henderson. “We are continually evaluating areas within our production facility that we can improve or upgrade to increase efficiencies.” Nu Wool has completed a number of projects throughout the manufacturing plant, including the replacement of an outdated electric boiler with a new gas system, resulting in a significant reduction in electricity use. The company has identified and reduced leaks in the compressed air system and found ways to decrease demand for compressed air within their manufacturing process. This deliberate approach resulted in a 22.16 percent reduc-

tion in building energy use during 2017 and secured Nu Wool a Second Place trophy in the Manufacturing/Industrial Category of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings. Henderson says Nu Wool has worked to identify, repair or replace inefficient electric motors and related components. “We ran harmonic measurement testing on several large horsepower motors to check for power loss due to dirty power,” he notes. “We look at energy just like any other raw material input in our product: We track it as a production metric, as in the energy it takes to manufacture one bag of our product.” Nu Wool selected their electrical supplier from the Michigan Electrical Customer Choice Program and relies on Midwest Energy Group as its energy man-

agement partner.. Nu Wool is in the process of replacing its entire packaging equipment line. Once installed, Henderson says the new equipment will produce 50 percent more units per hour with a one-third reduction in machinery, a significant improvement in efficiency. The company is also considering replacing the air compressor with a more efficient unit and converting the entire facility to LED lighting. “We feel we have a responsibility to protect our environment for the next generation,” Henderson says. “Finding ways to reduce the energy we use is a major way we can reduce our impact.” Nu-Wool, Inc. manufactures environmentally friendly cellulose insulation materials for residential and commercial buildings. Nu-Wool’s insulation product is made from recycled paper and is widely recognized for its superior thermal and air-infiltration properties. The Jenison-based company is the longest-running cellulose insulation manufacturer in the world. Notably, Nu Wool recycles more than 30 million pounds of paper a year.

Proud to be a LEED Certified hotel

CityFlatsHotel Holland is the first hotel in the Midwest to achieve LEED Gold Certification. Our Grand Rapids location quickly followed suit.

We raise the bar by using 30% less water than baseline standards and optimizing energy performance.

Our interior furniture and decor were designed and manufatured using local materials from rapidly renewable resources.



Hollander Development Corporation Metea Court FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN MULTIFAMILY CATEGORY Buchanan, MI Hollander Development Corporation (HDC) has a legacy of award-winning development and enhanced sustainability of multifamily dwellings. The Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition is no exception, as their project Metea Court in Buchanan takes First Place with an impressive 14.48 percent energy reduction. This is the third consecutive year that an HDC project topped the Multi-Family Category in the competition, taking home the 2016 honors with Gateway Village of Sturgis and in 2015 with Valley View III. Each year HDC continues to push the threshold of innovation. Nestled in a quiet single-family residential neighborhood, Metea Court serves a local senior population with a combination of subsi-

dized and market rate apartments. The 100-unit affordable housing community is comprised of 68 one-bedroom apartments, 32 twobedroom apartments, a community building with leasing office and heated maintenance garage. The nature of this project secured outside funding in the form of tax credits, incentives and rebates. The project utilized both Low Income Housing and Business Investment Tax Credits. One of HDC’s objectives was to increase energy efficiency in order to decrease operational expenses for Metea Courts. Unit kitchens and bathrooms were revamped with new cabinetry, countertops, ENERGY STAR® appliances, ultra-low flow plumbing fixtures and high efficacy lighting. Tightening the building envelope was a necessity to make

any of the HVAC developments worthwhile. Improvements included R49 attic insulation, new ENERGY STAR® windows, caulking and air sealing which reduced the air changes per hour (ACH) to an optimal rate. Formerly heated by a baseboard electric resistance system and cooled by a through wall air conditioner in the living room, a “mini-split” air source heat pumps brought the HVAC system into the modern day-andage. When it comes to buildings, it’s not all on the inside, but what’s on the outside matters, too. A 135kW roof mount photovoltaic solar array was added, spanning multiple buildings. To the project team’s knowledge, it is currently the largest residential solar array in the State of Michigan. Other exterior improvements replaced old roofing with 50-year shingles under solar energy components. All exterior site lighting was upgraded to high-efficacy, Dark Sky Compliant fixtures. The project team is currently investigating the viability of adding battery-based energy storage to the community building for

disaster resilience. Metea Court serves as an example for the depth of energy optimizations which can be successfully provided for one of our community’s most vulnerable population. HDC has broad expertise in sustainable building practices and is an industry leader in energy efficient design and retrofitting. Minimizing energy consumption is a primary objective of all new design and construction projects. HDC focuses on strategic, incremental, continuous improvement

and aims to become carbon neutral across its entire portfolio by 2040. Matt Hollander, president of HDC, says the timeline of Battle of the Buildings allows participants to analyze on a yearly deadline which is not always available in its typical scope. Battle is a platform which everyone benefits just by participating. “Battle helps keep us accountable to ourselves and learn from our mistakes. Plus,” Matt adds cheekily, “it’s good networking.”

Clark Retirement Community SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN MULTIFAMILY CATEGORY Grand Rapids, MI Clark Retirement Community continues to chip away at energy waste. Another 4.38 percent in energy savings was enough secure a Second Place finish in the Multifamily Category of the 2017 Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition. Reducing energy has been a journey for Clark, one they’ve been working on at their 262,682 square foot facility in Grand Rapids since 2012. Clark Retirement placed Second in the same category in 2016 Michigan Battle of the Buildings by reducing energy 10.16 percent during that year.

Clark Retirement was founded in 1906, and for more than 100 years has created and provides a full continuum of care to residents in Grand Rapids area. It has grown and expanded over time to embrace approximately 500 residents on two campuses, with over 400 staff. It all began when Clark benchmarked their building using EPA’s Energy Star® Portfolio manager and scored 12 out of a possible 100. The tool compares similar buildings in like climate zones to help owners/managers determine where they stand in relation to the energy management of their building. By 2016, Clark had increased their score to 38 and today they are scoring an energy performance rating of 41. Recent projects assisted their reduction including a new roof, chilled water pump replacement, boiler upgrades and a LED retrofit

project. “Being energy efficient is important to Clark’s residents — many of whom lived during the Depression era. The residents teach us to conserve in any way we can so we can leave a legacy and resources for generations to come.” explains Amy Bromm who spearheads Clark’s sustainability efforts. “We as an organization always try to be good stewards of our financial and other resources.” Clark has learned that it is important to potential incoming residents and many ask about it when touring the facility. Environmentally themed events are popular with the residents. They educate and hold activity days focused on sustainability. Bromm has led Clark’s Green Team since it started and is passionate about the work. The team has planted raised garden beds, installed a rain garden and retention pond and they encour-

age residents to reduce, reuse and recycle. “I appreciate everything Clark has done to save energy. It affects the budget and they invest those savings back into the building as a nonprofit organization.” said Del Crowe, a resident at Clark. “I benefit as a resident by having a

better lifestyle as a result.” The journey continues and Clark Retirement Community will continue making small improvements. They look forward to sharing this journey with their Keller Lake campus, beginning with window replacements, AC upgrades and other initiatives.

walk into the building interior was reduced by reconfiguring space utilization. Last, the cooling tower make-up water pumping energy was reduced by installing efficient motors with variable frequency drives (VFDs). DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson announced last year (2017) DTE’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. DTE dedication to present and future communities is evident

by their progressive plans. As an energy provider and title sponsor of the competition, DTE is a resource for the growing number of participants in Michigan Battle of the Buildings. This year, they were able to engage as an exemplar as well, setting a standard for other buildings on how energy efficiency can be achieved. They seized a perfect “practice what you preach” moment.

DTE Energy FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN OFFICE CATEGORY Detroit, MI DTE Energy is integrating environmental sustainability into decision-making; from customer-facing programs to their own facilities. Last year, DTE engaged with staff on board to develop a strategy and conduct energy assessments at more than 40 facilities. The result was an action plan to prioritize measures for implementation which also guided a path to reduce energy at the headquarters complex. Their methodology has result-

ed in a 32.90 percent reduction in weather-normalized energy consumption, which earned DTE a First Place victory in the 2017 Michigan Battle of the Buildings Office Category. Specifically, DTE won for energy reduction within its Service Building, which is one of three buildings in its Detroitbased headquarters complex. “As our company continues its journey toward environmental leadership, improving the energy efficiency of facilities is an important milestone,” said energy project manager lead Rob Ziembiec. DTE Energy is implementing an aggressive plan to reduce its use of energy, water, and waste by a minimum of 25 percent by 2022. The three-tier approach goes as follows : Standards, Engineering and Design, Asset preservation, and Operations and Maintenance.

The DTE Energy headquarters complex accents the Downtown Detroit skyline. The office building is mirrored in the reflecting pool and shadows the adjacent walkways at particular times of day. Efficiency gains often come from the places a passer-by or an occupant does not frequently notice. In this case, the improvements lay in the air handling unit (AHU) fans, the cooling towers, and in lighting upgrades. Within its Service Building, DTE reduced energy use intensity, EUI, by replacing T8 fluorescent lamps with Toggled LED tubes. This resulted in 50 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption on 4 of 6 floors. AHU fans were rebuilt to increase the performance of their efficiency and air infiltration from the sky-


State of Michigan South Grand Office Building (formerly MSP HQ) SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN OFFICE CATEGORY Lansing, MI The State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) Building Operations Division (BOD) is dedicated to providing a safe, healthy, energy efficient work environment to state employees. The BOD’s approach to energy efficiency employs proven energy saving measures while always looking for new technology and practices. This reflects the division’s philosophy that energy savings is one of the best methods to reduce costs to taxpayers. “The energy initiatives we’ve spearheaded will be our lasting legacy to the State,” says Jamie Uphaus, Director of Building

Operations. “Nothing has shaped our organization more than the energy efficient systems we have put place in place, including cogeneration, thermal storage, solar voltaic, white roofs and LED lighting.” The South Grand Building in Lansing placed Second in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings’ Office category, reducing its energy needs by 21.56 percent. Uphaus says DTMB submitted the South Grand Building to the 2017 Battle because “we support how Battle of the Buildings encourages businesses to save energy, and for the friendly competition.” DTMB representatives attended the Michigan Energy Summit in 2017. “We took advantage of the opportunity to learn what other companies in the state were doing for waste reduction and how our peers were reducing energy costs.” Projects completed on the South Grand Building include the

adjustment of control loops and a reset of schedules to maintain the heating and cooling system setpoints. LEDs have been installed in 5 percent of the facility. Occupancy sensors are now located in strategic locations throughout the building. An ASHRAE Level I energy audit has been performed, and ENERGY STAR®rated appliances have replaced inefficient equipment. Uphaus says the biggest impact to the building’s energy profile has been the reduction of 24-hour services in multiple areas to normal business hours. This action has changed schedules for the air handlers, optimized lighting schedules and eliminated multiple server rooms. Projects planned for the South Grand Building include a complete lighting conversion to LEDs and performing an ASHRAE Level II energy audit. The BOD also will continue to look for opportunities to implement further energy conservation measures.

BOD plans to apply for ENERGY STAR® certification for the building, since it meets the required criteria. BOD’s long-term plans are to expand the percentage of its ENERGY STAR® measurable buildings to 100 percent from its current 27 percent. “The Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition has helped

us realize how our energy management efforts (at the South Grand Building) measure with other similar facilities,” Uphaus says. The competition is a good way to showcase Michigan’s building energy reduction efforts. “We may be new to the Battle of the Buildings competition, but we have already signed up to participate in 2018.”

Grand Rapids Art Museum FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN ‘OTHER’ CATEGORY Grand Rapids, MI The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is the world’s first LEED Gold certified art museum. The 125,000 square feet facility, which features 20,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space, welcomed visitors to its 11 year old building at 101 Monroe Center in October 2007. With the understanding that even a LEED Gold building can improve with new technology, GRAM started working reduce energy in 2011. The facility has been rewarded with a 37 percent reduction in energy use over the last 7 years. GRAM first joined the Michigan Battle of the Buildings 3 years ago and this year they are celebrating a 15.46 percent energy reduction and a First Place victory in the competitions’ Other Category. Early in its history, GRAM’s facilities team committed to moving beyond its historic LEED Gold ranking to see if the building could reach an even greater level of efficiency. They began the long process of identifying areas and processes where they saw room for improvement. A major undertaking involved customizing GRAM’s Building Management System to allow the poweringdown of HVAC equipment dedicated to specific spaces whenever those spaces approached their established limits, then poweringup when necessary to maintain acceptable standards of comfort.


Additionally, the building team programmed non-essential equipment to shut off during non-business hours, reducing energy consumption even further. The GRAM facilities group initiated an upgrade to the building’s lighting system with LED technology. All exhibition lighting was converted in 2015, as well as a significant portion of lighting in other public spaces. Lighting conversions to LED are now in process in other areas of the museum. Additionally, plans are in progress for the installation of a new, energy-efficient chiller to replace 20 existing DX compressors in all gallery and art storage areas. This climate control initiative is expected to result in additional savings in electrical costs, along with a significant reduction in the use of potable water. Facility Manager, Tom Hilzey says GRAM’s engagement with the Battle of the Buildings provides significant value by helping

the museum clearly identify where energy savings were achieved by his team’s efforts. The competition also provides the added incentive of helping GRAM “continually find ways to achieve greater efficiency.” GRAM’s quest to remain a leader in sustainbility keeps the museum engaged with the larger green community in West Michigan. In addition to the Battle of the Buildings, GRAM is a member of the Grand Rapids 2030 District and the building has been selected for inclusion in Consumers Energy’s Zero Net Energy pilot program. Hilzey says the findings of the GRAM facilities team uncovered while going through the rigors of this year’s Battle have further focused their efforts. “Knowing the museum has made progress in key areas and being able to validate our efforts keeps us on the lookout for other energy-saving opportunities.”

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Spring Lake District Library SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN ‘OTHER’ CATEGORY Spring Lake, MI The Spring Lake District Library has served its namesake Village and Township of Spring Lake since opening its doors in 2003. The 35,000-square-foot structure features a large elliptical area at its center that provides abundant natural light and an inviting area for people to relax and read. The space includes both children’s and adult areas, individual study rooms, a local history room and a meeting room for up to 125 people that’s publicly accessible outside of regular business hours. The

glass and masonry exterior also features a sophisticated snowmelt system. The Spring Lake Library was thrilled to hear they placed Second in the 2017 Battle of the Buildings Other Category, after reduced energy consumption by 9.56 percent during 2017. The library started working to reduce their energy use 4 years ago. With the building open to the public 62 hours per week, lighting, heating and cooling costs were a top priority. Approximately half of the building lights were updated to LEDs. “When we changed to LED lighting in the staff area, it seemed very bright compared to the previous lighting, but the staff loved it,” admits Library Director Claire Sheridan. “We appreciate the lower electrical bills.” They plan to do the public areas after seeing the success. Hurst Mechanical worked with library staff to make improvements in other areas, as well. Natural gas

humidifiers replaced the original electric models. Upgrades were made to the building controls system. When the time came to replace the roof, PVC was selected, in part because its reflective properties would help reduce summer cooling costs. This energy reduction effort was supplemented with added roof insulation. Additionally, as old pumps stop working they are being replaced with more efficient ECM pumps. The projects completed to date have been instrumental in substantially reducing the library’s energy use. Sheridan says the library joined the Michigan Battle of the Buildings “because we were encouraged by Hurst Mechanical, and especially by (Competition Founder) Cheri Holman. Her enthusiasm for energy saving and for the Battle of the Buildings was contagious.” The library has competed every year since the competition launched in 2014. Sheridan enjoyed the Michigan

Energy Summit last year and found the presentations “both inspiring and helpful, as was the ability to have discussions with a variety of vendors,” she says. “As we continue to look at energy-saving options, the conference comes at a good time for us to see how technologies have advanced and what might be possible and practical for the library to adopt.”

The library’s future plans include efficiency improvements to parking lot lighting as well as replacing the remaining interior’s original lights with LEDs. “We’re quite pleased with the progress we have made so far and will continue to look for greater energy efficiencies throughout the building going forward,” says Sheridan.

The Peoples Church of East Lansing FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN PLACES OF WORSHIP CATEGORY East Lansing, MI The Peoples Church is working with an energy-saver program run by the Lansing Board of Water and Light. The church planned to replace its exit signs’ incandescent bulbs with more efficient lighting. “We realized a quick payback from the changeover,” says Facility Director Andy Mayville, “and started looking at other ways we could improve our energy efficiency.” Church congregants soon embraced the effort as a call to

service. An Earth Stewardship Committee formed, and a more conscientious effort began to update the property’s environmental profile. Their work is paying off. The Peoples Church took First Place in the Place of Worship category of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings by reducing their building energy use 11.15 percent during 2017. In addition, the church achieved Energy Star® certification by earning an Energy Performance Rating of 75 percent when compared to similar buildings. Numerous projects tackled included converting incandescent lighting to LED, installing an electric vehicle charger, placing occupancy sensors in rooms, and setting outdoor lighting on timers. Aged appliances were replaced with Energy Star® certified equipment. The church leased offsite solar panels to reduce their use of fossil fuels. Additionally,

hot-water pumps were placed on a timer and the property’s aged office windows were upgraded to high-performance glass. The existing building has stood in its current location since 1926 and served as East Lansing’s only church until 1940. Mayville acknowledges that the church building’s status as an historic landmark means updates cannot alter its architectural significance. Fortunately, much is being done to enhance efficiencies above and within the structure’s walls, including the addition of a reflective white roof and improvements to insulation. The Peoples Church’s importance to its community, along with the value of its stewardship, cannot be overstated. The property is open and in use 15 hours a day, seven days a week. One hundred children participate in a Certified Nature Explore daycare program encouraging energy conservation and recycling.

Looking ahead, the church plans to replace its pneumatic HVAC controls with a building management system. The potential also exists to bring solar energy on-site. Mayville acknowledges that the Peoples Church of East Lansing’s “Creation Care,” as it’s known, has been influenced in part by

its close proximity to Michigan State University, a big sustainability booster. “Many MSU staff are members of the congregation,” he notes, “and we are happy to piggyback on the university’s excitement about energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.”

Harderwyk Ministries SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN PLACES OF WORSHIP CATEGORY Holland, MI Throughout 2017, Harderwyk Ministries was able to achieve a 2.88 percent reduction in building energy use earning them Second Place in Michigan Battle of the Building’s Place of Worship Category. Norlyn Compaan, Harderwyk’s Facilities Administrator, spoke of the ministry’s commitment to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to them by their members. He said, “We strive to make our facilities energy efficient and achieve cost savings anywhere possible. We simply owe that to those who support our wide variety of ministries here.”

Staying true to this commitment, Compaan and the Harderwyk team pursued several projects this year to improve their energy efficiency and increase their energy cost savings. The projects with the most direct impact were replacement of main church boiler system with high efficiency condensing boilers and replacement of all outdoor lighting with modern LED technology. Indoor lighting efficiency upgrades also are ongoing. These replacements have resulted in trackable energy savings for the church and gave them a solid investment return. In future, Harderwyk plans to

continue on with indoor lighting measures, improve energy efficiency upgrades in high use building areas and replace aging HVAC rooftop units with high efficiency units. The team also plans to work with Midwest Energy Group to maximize energy savings as they remodel and expand other buildings at the facility. As an organization, being recognized as a winner of the Michigan Battle of the Building Biggest Energy Loser competition is a solid affirmation to their members. Their ongoing support of the ministry allowed the facilities team to stay relative and up-todate in a changing and complex world. When asked what advice he would give to another facility manager who is attempting to reduce energy consumption at his/her facility, Compaan suggested seeking the help of an energy management consulting company. According to Compaan, consult-

ing companies can help facility mangers with product evaluation, provide recommendations and give installation tips for significant cost savings. They have a deep understanding of energy rebates including their availability throughout the year and how to complete documentation required for utility incentive applications.

Harderwyk Ministries is a congregation located in Holland, Michigan and is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The ministry is committed to sowing seeds of faith, growing faith that has taken root and going wherever Christ leads as ambassadors of His kingdom.


AVB / Cole Automotive Management Cole-Ford Lincoln FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN RETAIL CATEGORY Coldwater, MI In 2017, AVB and Cole Automotive began a series of energy efficiency updates to the 17-year-old Ford Lincoln dealer. “We knew from our new construction work that we needed to circle back and make these upgrades,” says AVB Business Development Officer Blake Krum. Realizing an 28.39 percent energy reduction, the dealership is taking home a First Place victory in the Retail Category of the 2017 Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition. AVB and the Cole Automotive Group partnered with Midwest Energy Group as their energy consultant. Initial steps focused on building a database of information to guide energy improvement efforts. “As a company, AVB focuses on energy savings across the board,” Krum explains. “It was obvious we needed to make changes in several areas, but we needed data first. Once we saw the numbers, we saw the opportunities for improvement, as well.”

Improvements to the Cole Ford Lincoln dealership have included a significant lighting upgrade to LEDs, updating HVAC units, and identifying and fixing compressed-air leaks. Plans AVB and Cole Automotive are making for future efficiency upgrades to Cole Ford Lincoln include a move to programmable thermostats, along with the installation of occupancy sensors. The AVB/Cole partnership anticipates switching the entire family of auto dealerships to LED lighting, starting with the building exteriors, then moving into showrooms and service areas. AVB/Cole will continue to assess other methods for improving the energy efficiency of its buildings, which could include mechanical upgrades. This is the first year the AVB/ Cole partnership is competing in the Michigan Battle of the

Buildings. “Participating in the Battle of the Buildings has opened our eyes to many opportunities for improvement when it comes to energy savings,” Krum says. “Seeing other companies across Michigan put in this amount of effort on energy savings, and to be a part of it, means a lot to us. As we continue to grow, we will increase our focus and make even more energy-saving decisions.” AVB is a leading regional construction and development firm, offering expertise in both residential and commercial new construction, major remodeling projects, and real estate development. The AVB portfolio includes five leased automotive dealerships. Cole Ford Lincoln in Coldwater is among this collection, owned by Cole Automotive Group based in Southwest Michigan.


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Meijer SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN RETAIL CATEGORY Bay City, MI Meijer designs all of its stores to LEED standards, and uses the elements of LEED design when upgrading its older stores. Whenever the company evaluates a potentially energy-saving technology, they conduct a pilot project in one store to measure performance and validate results. If the technology proves satisfactory, a plan is developed to implement it across all stores. Meijer annually benchmarks its stores using ENERGY STAR® criteria. Meijer’s Bay City location placed Second in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings Retail Category by reducing energy consumption an impressive 20.57 percent over the 2017 calendar year. This project consisted of updat-

ing the building’s mechanical systems as part of its remodel, referencing key LEED design principles. The store’s rooftop HVAC units were replaced with more efficient equipment. Temperature setpoints were standardized and the control strategy was updated to improve temperatures throughout the store. Refrigerated cases were upgraded to more efficient models, with LED lighting added and doors placed on frozen cases. The Bay City Meijer energy efficiency improvements are part of a companywide goal to reduce energy use 20 percent across all stores by 2020. Meijer is pursuing this objective by upgrading numerous parts of its stores and gas stations to LED lighting, standardizing temperatures across all properties, and adding occupancy sensors to many areas within the stores. Meijer has an entire portfolio of energy-saving projects planned going forward, including continuing to convert lighting to LEDs,

more upgrades to building heating and cooling equipment, and more refrigerated case changeouts. “These energy efficiency projects have been an essential component of Meijer’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint intensity,” explains Erik Petrovskis, Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability. This is the first time Meijer competed in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings. Energy and Engineering Manager Greg Serkaian says his company welcomed the opportunity to take part in the Battle again for 2018. “Meijer has been performing energy projects for numerous years,” he explained. “As the program has developed, we have focused on combining projects into the same stores each year to maximize results while minimizing the projects’ impact on customers.” In looking at this approach, combined with the expected results, it made sense for Meijer to participate in the Battle of the

Buildings to see how their projects performed and benchmark their improvements against others in the industry. “We believe having the third-party validation of our projects will bring visibility to our energy-saving efforts,” says Serkaian. Meijer is a Grand Rapids-based retailer that operates 235 supercenters and grocery stores through-

out Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Privately owned and family-operated since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, apparel and pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics.

General Motors Grand Blanc Center & CCA Burton FIRST PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN WAREHOUSE/DISTRIBUTION CATEGORY Grand Blanc, MI SECOND PLACE BIGGEST LOSER IN WAREHOUSE/DISTRIBUTION CATEGORY Burton, MI General Motors quickly is becoming a world leader in demonstrating how energy efficiency is achieved on the production line and behind the steering wheel. General Motors has achieved notable energy use reductions across their whole portfolio. Their ingenuity has placed their buildings amongst top performers in their respective categories in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings, including earning the top two spots of the Warehouse and Distribution Center category. The company is known for integrating energy management into its corporate business plan, adapting to the changing energy landscape. Since 2010, GM has achieved a portfolio-wide energy intensity reduction of 17 percent. The avoided cost of $135 million is equivalent to the production of 143,000 vehicles. The General Motors Grand Blanc Center placed First in the Warehouse/Distribution Center category of the 2017 Michigan Battle of the Buildings, with a total energy reduction of 20.24 percent. The General Motors CCA Burton location received Second Place with a 16.11 percent energy reduction. First Place - Grand Blanc Center Approximately 95 percent of the nearly 1.3 million square feet of

the Grand Blanc Center is used for warehouse to store manufacturing equipment and other materials. The energy-efficiency project performed at the Grand Blanc Center covered multiple facets of the building’s operations. Foam insulation was added to exterior walls and windows to tighten up the building envelope. Approximately 95 percent of the building’s interior lights were converted to LED, accompanied by occupancy sensors and programmable thermostats. Second Place - CCA Burton The majority of the 357,551 sq.ft. building is used as a warehouse with a small area comprising office space and cafeteria. This facility stores vehicle accessories for Customer Care and Aftersales including body panels, exhaust systems and more. Security staffs the building 24 hours per day/ seven days per week. Energy conservation measures implemented last year show that sometimes the gains are in the technology, sometimes it’s all in how they are used. All HID exterior lights are being converted to LED, a project which will end in 2018 and an optimized web-based Building Operation System is allowing remote access for setback temperatures when unoccupied. These building upgrades are

part of a $22-million investment in energy-efficiency projects GM is instituting throughout its North American facilities. Ongoing projects include the continuation of exterior LED upgrades, modifications to HVAC units to reduce unnecessary outside air intake and burner capacity, and scheduling units to maintain set point during occupied and unoccupied times. The automaker reduced energy use at its global facilities by 28 percent on a per-vehicle-produced basis between 2005 and 2010. These savings reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 3.34 million metric tons. GM’s overall sustainability and energy reduction goals are part of its promise to deliver safer, better and more sustainable solutions to its customers. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra has stated that sustainability is part of the company’s business model and core to its operations. This is the third year in a row that General Motors has participated in the Battle, and they have committed more square footage than ever before. In 2018, General Motors will participate in the EnergyStar/Michigan Battle of the Buildings pilot program which will work to help manufacturing/ industrial plants report their energy per “widget” instead of per square foot. “Competition in energy reduction drives continuous improvement and compares our performance to our peers,” explains GM Global Energy Manager Al

Hildreth. “It also encourages best practice sharing, a behavior valued at General Motors.” “We encourage mentoring and sharing among our sites and external partners,” Hildreth explains, “It is great to see energy reduction efforts at Grand Blanc Center result in a winning year-over-year

reduction of over 20 percent.” GM facilities around the world share best practices and employ a variety of efficiency tactics. Grand Blanc and CCA Burton are local examples of their mission unfolding into the new-and-improved standard quo.


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