CA Interim Director of Community Operations Jeremy Scharfenberg poses with Better Buildings Initiative Director Maria Vargas and Hannah Debelius from the Better Buildings Program. Scharfenberg attended an event at the White House, recognizing the effort and its partners. (Submitted photo)

The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized the Columbia Association for achieving its energy savings goal as an inaugural partner in the Better Buildings Challenge. CA achieved the ambitious 30% goal through a commitment to advancing energy efficiency efforts across its building portfolio.

“Reaching our goal of 30% savings is an incredibly meaningful milestone, and we are thrilled to be recognized as a leader in reducing energy consumption,” said CA Interim Director of Community Operations Jeremy Scharfenberg. “Over the past decade, CA has worked aggressively to advance clean energy practices, and we will continue to find new, innovative ways to move the needle.”

CA is among the market leaders partnering with DOE to set portfolio-wide energy savings goals and share their efficiency strategies on the Better Buildings Solution Center. To date, Better Buildings partners have saved $18.5 billion in energy costs, resulting in nearly 190 million metric tons of avoided carbon emissions.

LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC equipment, renewable solar photovoltaic sites and combined heat and power units are among the various measures CA prioritized to save energy and improve efficiency across its 490,000 square foot building portfolio.

The DOE also recognized CA with a 2023 Better Project Award earlier this year. The award specifically recognized CA and its expert sustainability team for converting to advanced heat pump HVAC systems at Supreme Sports Club, its largest facility. The new equipment is estimated to reduce natural gas consumption by approximately 70%.

“Our Better Buildings Goal Achievers are leaders in their industries, demonstrating that we can reach the nation’s ambitious climate goals if we work together and commit to excellence,” said DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Jeff Marootian. “We appreciate their dedication and hope more partners can join us as we build our clean energy future.”