Sustainability Spotlight: Siemens Names Top Two “Smartest” Buildings in America
Duke Energy Center

Duke Energy Center, Charlotte, N.C., and the Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, Iowa, were named the Grand Prize winners of Siemens Industry’s inaugural Smartest Buildings in America Challenge.


Duke Energy Center

Open to all facility owners, operators, and managers who use an APOGEE or TALON building automation system, entrants were asked to submit a short video or photos along with a brief write up explaining how innovatively their organizations use the building automation systems to achieve business, efficiency, or sustainability goals. Five industry experts chose the winners from finalists that included a wide range of facilities from across the U.S.

The Duke Energy Center, located in Charlotte, NC, is a LEED Core and Shell 2.0 Platinum certified office tower with 48 stories and 1.5 million square feet.  Utilizing the Siemens APOGEE Building Automation System, daylight harvesting blinds and lighting controls, facility operators were able to create operational efficiencies that reduce energy consumption by 22% and increase occupant productivity through the integration of 16 separate building systems.

The Iowa Central Community College Biotechnology and Health Science Building is a LEED Gold building that uses the Siemens TALON AX system to integrate and operate six mechanical systems, including water-to-air heat pumps, pumping systems, water-to-water heat pumps, and air handling units. The TALON system also controls the corridor and outside lighting.

Runner-up winners are the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Rasmussen Building at Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa.

Alaska’s Cold Climate Housing Research Center is in the process of receiving LEED Platinum certification. The facility employs Siemens’ APOGEE system to adapt to Alaska’s extreme climate. Over 1200 sensors monitor walls, roofs, rainwater, foundations, permafrost, and HVAC, and the heating system adjusts for occupant comfort while providing real-time data on fuel usage. 

The Rasmussen Building at Grand View University uses the Siemens TALON system to automatically operate variable air volume boxes for the entire facility, to raise and lower window shades based on time of day and interior room temperatures, and to adjust lighting for the Art Gallery and main conference room.

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