Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown Selected as Contestant in EPA National Building Competition -- Hotel will Compete to “Work Off the Waste” with Help from ENERGY STAR

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Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown is honored to compete in the EPA Energy Star Program which leads EPA's initiative to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings. With over 200 applicants, the Courtyard was selected along with 13 others in this national contest. Courtyard's management team is driving sustainability efforts in this historical 82 year old building.

There are definitely unique challenges to improving the energy efficiency of a historic property like this and we look forward to seeing how we measure up against other buildings across the nation.

The Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown, which is managed by Denver-based Sage Hospitality Resources, is proud to announce that it has been selected to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) first national competition among commercial buildings to save energy and fight climate change.

In the spirit of popular weight-loss competitions, this downtown San Diego hotel will compete against 13 other buildings across the country to “work off the waste” through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be recognized as the winner of EPA’s National Building Competition in late October 2010.

Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown is housed in the one of the city’s most prominent landmark buildings, the historic San Diego Trust & Savings Bank. The hotel, which currently has an Energy Star rating of 63, plans to win the competition by making key operational changes, including the installation of water restricting devices, motion sensing lighting controls in stairwells and the replacement of all incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs.

“We are thrilled and honored to be a part of the EPA National Building Competition,” said Jody Blackinton, general manager of the hotel. "There are definitely unique challenges to improving the energy efficiency of a historic property like this and we look forward to seeing how we measure up against other buildings across the nation.”

Nearly 200 buildings applied to participate in the National Building Competition, which will judge the energy performance of the 14 finalists from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010. The energy use of each building is being monitored with EPA’s online measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Contestants will receive technical assistance from EPA as well as energy fitness advice from celebrity trainer, Bob Harper. Each building will participate in a mid-point weigh-in and post their results online at the competition website. Twitter updates by contestants will also be available at http://www.twitter.com/EnergyStarBldgs/contestants.

“Buildings of all shapes and sizes are saving money and energy with help from EPA and ENERGY STAR,” said Jean Lupinacci, Director of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. “We applaud the contestants of EPA’s National Building Competition for taking action to protect the environment and fight climate change.”

According to EPA, energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. On average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere each year.

The Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown is located in San Diego’s vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, with many of its 245 rooms offering fantastic waterfront views. The hotel, which features 3,500 square feet of meeting space, has been completely remodeled to feature the latest amenities, including state-of-the-art fitness and business centers, complimentary high-speed Internet access and luxurious bedding. This San Diego Marriott hotel is housed in the historic San Diego Trust & Savings Bank building and is close to numerous downtown businesses, tourist attractions and the San Diego Convention Center. For more information on the hotel, please call 800-321-2211 or visit http://www.marriott.com/sancd.

Learn more about the National Building Competition: energystar.gov/BuildingContest
Learn more about ENERGY STAR: energystar.gov/buildings
Learn more about the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown: marriott.com/sancd

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