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EPA Energy Star building program marks a decade

December 9, 2009 |  5:08 pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is marking the 10-year anniversary of its Energy Star building program, with 8,400 structures across the country since 1999 that meet the energy efficiency standards.

In 2008, Los Angeles ranked first among all U.S. cities, with more than 260 Energy Star buildings, including several that have earned the label every year since the program’s inception.

Nationwide, Energy Star has prevented the emission of nearly 120 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the EPA.

Energy Star covers 13 types of commercial buildings, including retail stores, hotels, schools and supermarkets. The first building to qualify for the label was the Ridgehaven Green Building in San Diego, which houses the city’s Environmental Services Department.

Notable buildings include’s headquarters in Seattle, the National Geographic Society base in Washington, D.C., and the home of MTV in Santa Monica. Landmarks such as the Chrysler Building in New York and the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco are also Energy Star buildings.

The oldest building to earn the Energy Star distinction is Cambridge Savings Bank in Massachusetts, which was constructed in 1820. At 1,136 feet – higher than three stacked football fields - the Aon Center in Chicago is the tallest Energy Star building and the fifth-tallest building in the country.

The USAA McDermott Building in San Antonio, Tex. is the largest Energy Star structure – at 4.5 million square feet, it is larger than the Mall of America.

MTV America's

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photos: (left) MTV headquarters in Santa Monica, which has earned the Energy Star label for four consecutive years. (right) 10351 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles hosts the television show America's Most Wanted and has earned Energy Star distinction every year since the program launched. Credit: EPA