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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Ballston Station
4301 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
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Ballston Station, a class A+ office building, was built in 1990 by London and Leeds development corporation. The building has three stories of below-grade parking for 600 vehicles and eight stories above-grade consisting of multiple tenant office and retail space. The building also has two large up-scale restaurants, The Rio Grande Cafe and The Willow.

Transwestern began managing Ballston Station in 1996. In 1999, Transwestern began a pilot program to benchmark all of its buildings by the end of 2002 and earn the ENERGY STAR for as many as possible. Ballston Station was benchmarked in 2002, but two major operational issues would keep the building from qualifying for the ENERGY STAR for another 7 years.

The first issue was the leasing hours, which ran until 8 p.m. This means the energy management team had to keep the HVAC running two hours longer each day then most other buildings. The second issue was the two restaurants, which used the building's chillers for cooling. This required the team to run the chillers almost 24/7.

The good news was that the building was well designed for its time. It already had variable frequency drives (VFDs) on most of the larger equipment and had a very good energy management system (EMS) that controlled all lighting and HVAC equipment. A good EMS is the key building block needed to control how a building uses its energy each day.

The team at Ballston began with the EMS. They looked at equipment and lighting schedules and start/stop times. They adjusted the schedule several times for the AC units and chillers so equipment ran as little as possible without sacrificing tenant comfort. Next they adjusted the start times so only one unit or one floor of lighting came on at any one time. Soft starting a building can make a big impact on what utility companies charge. The idea is to keep the spike in energy usage in the morning when equipment is starting up to a minimum.


Each year Transwestern budgeted between $5,000 and $20,000 for an energy reduction project. Some of the projects completed at Ballston were:

1)  Retrofitting lighting from T-12s to T-8s in common areas and tenant spaces as they rolled over.

2)  Installing occupancy sensors in restrooms.

3)  Replacing all incandescent lighting with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

4)  Replacing the old VFDs with more efficient ones.

5)  Retrofitting lighting in the garage from 200-watt mercury vapor lamps to T-8s.

6)  Replacing existing exit lights with LED exit lighting.

The projects began to payoff as the building's energy performance rating started to improve, and in 2009, Ballston Station finally earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance with an impressive rating of 83.


Transwestern won EPA's prestigious ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award in 2004 and 2005. The company went on to win ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Awards in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.


"A good EMS is the key building block needed to control how a building uses its energy each day."

-- Tim Miller, Chief Engineer, Transwestern

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Transwestern or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Service Provider:

Building Owner:*

Property Manager:*

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2009 (83)

Facility Type: Office

Total Floorspace: 292423 sf

Year Constructed: 1989

Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Internal Capital

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant