Since being dubbed the “Dirtiest City in America” by Walter Cronkite in 1969, the City of Chattanooga has worked to reverse the negative environmental impacts of local industry.
As part of this work, the city joined the Better Buildings Challenge in 2015, committing to reduce energy intensity by 20%. After reaching this goal five years ahead of schedule in 2019, Chattanooga has since achieved 36% energy intensity savings across 2 million square feet of building space from a 2013 baseline. Today, it says the upgrades it implemented have resulted in 27% energy and 24% water savings annually at the campus, ultimately saving $1.4 million per year.Control Room at the Moccasin Bend Environmental Campus.
The City’s Moccasin Bend Environmental Campus exemplifies this ongoing commitment to efficiency. The campus manages and treats wastewater for six counties and is the largest energy consumer of the city’s owned and operated buildings. Beginning in 2018, the Moccasin Bend Environmental Campus underwent several structural improvements to ensure long-term effective wastewater treatment for its growing population and increase resilience in times of extreme events.
To improve the facility’s efficiency and performance, the City of Chattanooga installed a 10-acre solar array, upgraded the facility’s equalization blower, retrofitted the building with LED lighting, improved water systems, and installed variable frequency drive controls.
On December 8, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the city for energy efficiency leadership across more than 200 of its municipal facilities and Chattanooga hosted DOE for a tour of the Moccasin Bend Environmental Campus.Better buildings
The Better Buildings Challenge is one component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving energy and money while reducing emissions and strengthening the economy. To date, more than 900 Better Buildings Partners have saved more than $15 billion in energy costs while sharing their innovative strategies, said DOE.