The Urban Green Council, the New York City Chapter of the USGBC, has announced the 2013 finalists of its performance-based building awards.

Unlike other award programs, the EBies are based on measurable improvements in the performance of existing buildings such as offices, multifamily developments, and warehouses. Honorees include building owners, managers and operators, auditors, commissioning agents, lighting designers and plumbing engineers.

“We’re thrilled to see growing awareness that improving existing buildings is the most crucial step we can take in achieving sustainability,” says Urban Green Council executive director Russell Unger. “The people making these improvements are still largely unrecognized and we want to change that.”

While many building owners see energy conservation tactics as daunting and pricey, many of this year’s finalists implemented relatively simple, low-cost improvements. “The resulting changes in energy reduction are just incredible,” says jury chair Duane Desiderio of the Real Estate Roundtable.

Entries were accepted in eight categories including operations and maintenance excellence, energy savings, best lighting retrofit, and green renovation innovation. Finalists, shown in the slide show above, were selected by a panel of jurors composed of leaders in real estate, sustainability, finance, architecture, academia, and government. The winners will be announced at the June 19 awards show in New York City.