Better Buildings Partners Recognized for Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP)

By Jordan Hibbs, U.S. Department of Energy on Oct 18, 2016

The 2016 LEEP Campaign Awards were announced on October 5 in Los Angeles, California at Greenbuild, the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.

Sixteen organizations were recognized in twenty-one award categories for new lighting installs and retrofits. There was much excitement in the audience as representatives from the sixteen organizations took to the stage to accept the awards.  Cumulatively to date, the LEEP award winners have saved approximately 3 TBtus and $30.5 million in deferred electricity savings.

The awards first began in 2014 when the Better Buildings Alliance identified a market opportunity to improve outdoor lighting in parking lots and garages. This year, the torch was passed from DOE to Paul Wessel, Director of Market Development with the U.S. Green Building Council. Wessel shared the latest on transportation and how that translates into building and parking structures. “There are over 1.2 billion motorized vehicles in the world today, and that number is expected to double by 2030. And, to top it off, they’re parked over 90% of the time. So how we park them and where we park them is important.”

He also shared how far the LEEP Campaign has come. As a recognition and guidance initiative LEEP is helping facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities from high-efficiency lighting solutions in their parking facilities. The LEEP Campaign is a collaboration the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), International Facility Management Organization (IFMA), International Parking Institute (IPI) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in coordination with the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance.

“From military bases to residential housing complexes, this year’s LEEP award winners represent the best new projects and retrofits in parking facility lighting across the United States,” said Paul Wessel, USGBC. “Through the combination of new equipment, proper lighting design and the use of automated controls, this was also the first year that the majority of our LEEP facilities experienced more than 90 percent energy savings in their parking lots.”

The University of Minnesota upgraded lighting and added controls to two of their parking structures, which resulted in a reduction of over a million kWh. These results earned them two awards including the Highest Absolute Energy Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Structure and Highest Percentage Energy Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Structure. Sandra Cullen, Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Minnesota said, "The University of Minnesota is very proud to accept our LEEP awards for lighting energy efficiency in parking structures on campus. We strive to be a sustainable campus and putting in the new light fixtures will more than pay for themselves in a very short time."

Another organization that earned several awards was CBRE Regions Bank, which received awards for the Highest Percentage Energy Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Structure, Highest Percentage Energy Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Lot, and Exemplary Retail/Commercial Sector Parking Facility. In one single facility, CBRE saved almost 300,000 kWh annual and 84% at one parking facility. Across CBRE Region Bank saved 60% compared to the previous installations.

You can view the full list of winners here.