U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Water Power Program

Awards Recognize Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies

April 14, 2004

Photo of Simmons Hall at night

The ventilation system in MIT's new residence hall earned a top engineering award.
Credit: MIT

A number of top technology awards in March included energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies among their ranks of winners. The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), for instance, presented seven "Grand Awards" and 16 "Honor Awards" for engineering excellence at an event that ACEC refers to as the "Academy Awards" of engineering. Although its top award went to a study of the World Trade Center's collapse, one of its Grand Awards went to CH2M HILL for a fish bypass at the Rocky Reach Dam in Bellevue, Washington. The bypass reduces fish injury while eliminating intentional spills of water past the dam, saving enough hydroelectric power to supply 8,000 homes, according to ACEC. In addition, Ove Arup and Partners won an Honor Award for engineering Simmons Hall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). According to ACEC, the new residence hall is the first major U.S. building to combine a low-volume air conditioning system with the natural ventilation of open windows. The 10-story structure has 3,000 operable windows and will require 40 percent less energy than similar buildings in the Northeast. RMT, Inc. also won an Honor Award for a project that uses landfill gas to supply energy to a high school in Illinois. The project uses Capstone microturbines to generate 360 kilowatts of electricity and uses the waste heat to heat the school, saving more than $100,000 in annual energy costs, according to ACEC. See the ACEC press release (PDF 129 KB), the ACEC Grand Award (PDF 226 KB) and Honor Award (PDF 480 KB) descriptions, and the MIT Web site for Simmons Hall. Download Acrobat Reader.

Biomass products and building cooling technologies took top honors at World's Best Technologies 2004 (WBT04), a conference sponsored by the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. Agro Management Group, Inc. earned a platinum award for developing of an engine lubricant derived from vegetable oil, which Sterling Bio-Technologies Corporation uses as the base oil for its Sterling Grade engine oil products. Ice Energy, LLC earned the gold award for a system that uses off-peak ice energy storage to cut energy use for cooling during peak hours, and Featherfiber Corporation earned the silver award for its technology to use poultry feathers in a variety of composite materials. See the Sterling Bio-Technologies press release, as well as the Ice Energy and WBT04 Web sites.