From a pool of 245 buildings nationwide, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named 12 finalists in Energy Star’s 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. The current leaders have achieved the greatest percent reduction of energy use within the individual building categories they represent. The building with the largest adjusted-percentage reduction between two year-long periods ending Aug. 31, 2010 and Aug. 31, 2011 will be awarded in November. (Read ECO-STRUCTURE’s coverage of the competition’s launch here.)

So far, the teams have saved more than $3.7 million on utility bills and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by 2,300 homes annually. Using Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager online  tracking tool, the teams are able to monitor their buildings' energy consumption. Participants represent 26 building types across 33 states and the District of Columbia; they are sharing energy efficiency strategies via social media and are able to monitor their competitors online.

The finalists with their current energy reduction percentages are:

University of Central Florida Garage C, in Orlando, Fla.:  31%

Scientific Instruments, in West Palm Beach, Fla.: 30%

Jackson Creek Middle School, in Bloomington, Ind.: 26%

USE Credit Union, in San Diego: 20%

North Suburban Medical Office Building, in Thornton, Colo.: 18%

Office Depot, in Plano, Texas: 17%

Hammond U.S. Courthouse, in Hammond, Ind.: 14%

First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis: 14%

St Mark's Medical Center, in La Grange, Texas: 10%

Norandex, in Rochester, N.Y.:  8%

Kenan Residence Hall at UNC, in Chapel Hill, N.C.: 3%

The Colonnade Hotel, in Boston: 2%

“The stories behind these energy-savings speak to the dedication of American businesses and organizations to protecting the environment and public health, and to economic common sense,” says Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s assistant administrator for air and radiation.

All participants are online at In 2010, Morrison Hall, a student residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, won the competition by cutting its energy use by 35.7 percent in one year, reducing its EUI from 213 in August 2009 to 137 in August 2010.