The team applied the rule "If you're not using it, turn it off." As a museum, the comfortable environment provided for visitors must also be stable in both temperature and relative humidity for museum objects. However, the staff has now been trained to be vigilant in turning lights off in non-peak hours.
With help from a SEP-ARRA energy grant, the historical center has made some changes to better match equipment to load. For example, the center installed variable frequency drives on air handlers to adjust to extremes in weather.
The team has slowed the rate of heat transfer in former problem areas where insulation was inadequate or nonexistent. The team also sealed and insulated soffit and replaced stucco.
Participating in the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition has made a difference primarily in increasing awareness of energy efficiency, both internally and externally. The staff has been working diligently to increase energy efficiency for many years, especially since 2002, the year of the last major addition to the structure. But, in many ways, the facilities staff worked at this quietly behind the scenes. After entering the competition, the Center became more vocal in talking about energy efficiency with staff and enlisting them to do their part to help. Sharing successes — measurable benchmarks in energy usage and cost reductions — has helped spread enthusiasm. The Center has Battle of the Buildings posters and notices in staff areas, particularly by light switches, to remind everyone to turn out lights and other energy-using equipment when not needed.
Buffalo Bill Historical Center has notified the community of the team’s participation in the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition through press releases at the competition's launch, and again at the midpoint of the competition. The Center has also posted notices about the competition, its participation, and progress on Facebook, and tweeted about progress on Twitter, which notifies over 2,800 Facebook fans and 117 Twitter followers. The Green Team also placed a sign in the front lobby, as well as two large banners along the busy city street that fronts the main parking lot and building facade.
Learn more about all 245 buildings, by visiting the competitor flash wall!