The Woodlands, Texas (January 24, 2024) – HARC’s Living Lab headquarters, located in the Woodlands, Texas, has once again earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy performance in 2023. This is the sixth year in a row that HARC’s headquarters has earned the ENERGY STAR certification, and the fifth year in a row the building has received an ENERGY STAR Rating of 99 out of 100, reflecting a legacy of being more energy efficient than 99% of similar properties nationwide.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment,” said Cindy Jacobs, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”
ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. ENERGY STAR is the only energy efficiency certification in the United States that is based on actual, verified energy performance.
“In 2014, HARC’s leadership made the decision to design and construct a building that would strongly reflect our sustainability mission,” said John Hall, HARC’s President and CEO. “We deliberately and intentionally built efficient building systems that would reduce energy and water demand, lessen operational costs, and create a healthy, vibrant environment for our staff.”
On average, ENERGY STAR certified buildings save energy and money, and help protect the environment by generating 35 percent less energy, causing 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and being less expensive to operate—all without sacrifices in performance or comfort.
“We’re honored to have earned the ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance six years in a row, and we appreciate the collaboration of our staff and the efforts of everyone who has been involved in this effort,” said Dr. Carlos Gamarra, HARC’s Director of Clean Energy, and the building’s energy manager. “Because of HARC’s work to optimize energy and water use and continually monitor data generated by the building’s systems, HARC’s Living Lab exceeds its design and modeled performance targets. For instance, HARC’s CO2 emissions are 77% lower than a comparable office building in the US, and since opening, the HARC building has avoided 235 tons of CO2 emissions through clean energy production, consumption, and energy efficiency. I am very proud that we have continued to be recognized for our collective efforts.”
Dr. Gamarra further credits this success to the building’s green building design and innovative technologies such as a high-performance building envelope, a geothermal heat exchange-based heating and cooling system comprised of a closed-loop network of 36 wells descending 300 feet a piece, and a 252 solar panel 88-kW rooftop solar array. HARC’s building is also Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Platinum, LEED Certified Net Zero Energy, and the first commercial building in Texas (and one of the first 50 in the US) to be certified as a Net Zero energy building, meaning it produces more renewable energy than it consumes.
Learn more about HARC’s Living Lab here.
For more information about ENERGY STAR for Buildings and Plants, visit www.energystar.gov/buildings