Duke Energy Center, Iowa College Named the Smartest Buildings in U.S.

Duke Energy Center, Iowa College Named the Smartest Buildings in U.S.

The Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, N.C., and the Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge are the grand prize winners of the Siemens Industry Inc. Smartest Building in America Challenge.

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Rasmussen Building at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, were runners-up in the contest.

Siemens named the honorees of its inaugural competition this week. The challenge recognizes innovative approaches taken by facility managers to achieve energy efficiency at sites that use Siemens APOGEE or TALON building automation systems.

The two-grand prize winners each receive $25,000 in products and services from Siemens' Building Technologies Division, or a $25,000 contribution to qualified charities of their choice. Runners-up each receive $15,000 in products and services, or a $15,000 contribution to qualified charities of their choice.Duke Energy Center Tower

Here are Siemens' thumbnail sketches of the winning buildings and what their operators did to merit recognition:


The Duke Energy Center
is a LEED-Platinum certified structure under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for core and shell, version 2.0. The 48-story, 1.5 million-square-foot office tower owned by Wells Fargo reduced energy use by 22 percent using the APOGEE system.

The LEED-Gold certified Iowa Central Community College Biotechnology and Health Science Building uses the TALON AX system to integrate six mechanical systems and operate equipment such as water to air heat pumps, pumping systems, water to water heat pumps, and air handling units.

Alaska's Cold Climate Housing Research Center, which is seeking LEED-Platinum certification, uses the more than 1,200 sensors of its Siemens APOGEE system to withstand Alaska's extreme climate and manage energy efficiency. The sensors at the center monitor rainwater, foundations, permafrost, HVAC, the building envelope and more.

The 40,000-square-foot Rasmussen Center for Community Advancement Professions at Grand View University was completed in 2008 and houses the departments of art, education, human services, criminal justice, political sciences, psychology and sociology. The building uses the TALON system to automatically operate VAV boxes for the center, raise and lower window shades based on time of day and interior room temperatures, and adjust lighting for the center's art gallery and main conference room.

Siemens' announcement comes as the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, Metropolis Magazine and General Electric's Innovation Challenge renewed the call for entries in their competitions.


The Third International Holcim Awards competition accepts online entries until March 23, 2011, for sustainable building and civil engineering works, landscape, urban design and infrastructure projects, and materials, products and construction technologies that contribute toward a more sustainable built environment. The contest offers prizes totaling $2 million and involves five regional competitions and a global phase.

Competitors in the International Interior Design-Metropolis Magazine Smart Environments Awards must register by September 23 and submit entries by October 6. Winners will be announced during the USGBC Greenbuild Expo in November and winning projects will be considered for publication in the Metropolis magazine and itrs website. Leading-edge interior design projects that only minimally impact the environment and were completed after April 2009 by legally practicing interior design or architecture professionals are eligible.

General Electric's Ecomagination Challenge is accepting entries until September 30, 2010, in the $200 million competition conducted in partnership with VC firms Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and RockPort Capital. In July, GE and its partners launched the innovation challenge for the best smart grid ideas. So far, more than 1,410 ideas have been submitted in the competition that also invites the public to comment on the entries and vote for their favorites.

Images of the Duke Energy Center Tower in North Carolina courtesy of Siemens.