City, U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Achieve Energy Efficiency for Taxpayers
The City of Jacksonville’s St. James Building, which houses City Hall, has earned ENERGY STAR certification from the Environmental Protection Agency. The designation comes after several years of partnership between the city and the U.S. Department of Energy to track energy usage in public buildings and achieve energy efficiency for taxpayers and the environment.
“The St. James Building is a historic architectural jewel in Downtown. I want to thank our Public Buildings Division for their great stewardship of our buildings and the environment, reducing costs for Jacksonville taxpayers by making energy efficiency a priority,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “I also want to thank the United States Green Building Council North Florida for engineer Mark Gelfo’s assistance in helping us achieve the ENERGY STAR designation.”
Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR certification perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide, using an average of 35 percent less energy and emitting 35 percent less greenhouse gas than average buildings.
Original construction on the St. James Building was completed in 1912, and it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The city purchased the former department store in 1993 to house City Hall and subsequently remodeled the building, reopening it for public use in 1997.
The St. James Building is the first city-owned building in Jacksonville to achieve ENERGY STAR certification, although the city is pursuing certification for other buildings as well. Jacksonville is number 10 among mid-size cities for the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings, with 43 local buildings saving an estimated $3.9 million in energy costs.