Norfolk Southern Headquarters Earns EPA’s Energy Star

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern’s Arnold B. McKinnon headquarters building has earned the 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star, the national symbol for protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

This signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A building that scores 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale is eligible for the Energy Star. The NS building scored 78.

Norfolk Southern increased the building’s energy performance primarily by upgrading lighting systems throughout the 21-story, 311,000-square foot office tower. The new lighting is part of a $10 million company-wide initiative to install brighter, energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs or new fixtures in more than 600 offices, shops, and yard facilities at 300 locations across the railroad’s 22-state network.

The project also includes installing hundreds of occupancy sensors and photocells that automatically turn off lights when work spaces are unoccupied. Norfolk Southern estimates it has saved more than 50 million kilowatt hours and reduced CO2 emissions by 29,415 metric tons annually with the completion of the first phase of the project.

Other projects included upgrades to the building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, including installation of variable frequency drives, high-efficiency economizers, and high-efficiency boilers. The building automation system was optimized to maximize the benefits from these improvements.

“Norfolk Southern is committed to increasing energy efficiency in all its buildings and facilities and incorporating sustainable designs and materials in new construction projects,” said Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. “We support President Obama’s Better Building Initiative to make America’s commercial buildings more energy and resource efficient over the next decade.”