CA Receives Federal Recognition for Energy Efficiency Projects
Building on commitment to sustainability, CA paves the way for other organizations to invest in new, more efficient HVAC technology to reduce fossil fuel use.
Columbia Association (CA) is receiving national recognition with a 2023 Better Project Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Initiative.
The award was announced at the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit in Washington, D.C., where CA Director of Sustainability Jeremy Scharfenberg spoke about the organization’s sustainability efforts.
“Since CA was established, environmental stewardship has remained at the heart of everything we do,” Scharfenberg said. “Our incredible team takes a lot of pride in bringing expertise and passion to our work, making CA a local and regional leader in sustainability. I am honored to accept this award on behalf of everyone who has worked on projects that improve our environment and combat the growing threat of climate change.”
This award specifically recognizes CA and its expert sustainability team for converting to advanced heat pump HVAC systems at its largest facility, Supreme Sports Club. CA has installed five dual fuel heat pump (DFHP) package units at the 100,000-square foot building over the past year. Compared to more conventional HVAC units, the heat pump operation of the new equipment is estimated to reduce natural gas consumption by approximately 70%. The organization plans to install another five DFHP units in three other CA facilities over the next couple of years.
“This is just one way CA is demonstrating a commitment to finding new, innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint each and every day,” Scharfenberg said. “After seeing the success of these units, they have become the new standard specification for the rest of CA’s building portfolio.”
CA made it a priority to transition from the old systems to the more energy efficient heat pump technology while managing implementation costs, meeting space conditioning requirements and maximizing decarbonization benefits. Existing electrical power supply and natural gas lines were reused without any special configuration which streamlined the installation process.
“Fitness facilities can present unique challenges for energy management and temperature control,” CA Wellness and Fitness Director Tavia Patusky said. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that invests the time and resources to ensure each person coming into our gyms is not only comfortable, but is also taking part in a better future for our environment. CA’s leadership in this area is one of the things that sets us apart when it comes to an all-encompassing approach to wellbeing in our community.”
CA is an inaugural partner in the Better Climate Challenge, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% within ten years. Over the course of this fiscal year alone, the organization has added two fully electric vehicles to its commercial fleet and installed a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of Supreme Sports Club. CA is also proud to be a multi-year ENERGY STAR® partner and award winner.
The DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative is a partnership of more than 900 organizations to pursue ambitious energy, waste, water and/or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. To date, Better Buildings, Better Plants participants have collectively saved more than $15 billion in energy costs, representing 155 million metric tons of carbon emissions.