Energy Efficiency Award Challenge

In recent years, there has been a continuous shift from traditional building methods towards green building in the U.S. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), green building construction growth currently outpaces general construction and is expected to continue to grow.

Germany has established itself as an international market leader and innovation driver in the fields of energy efficiency and green building. Its favorable policy and energy price environment have helped to create a thriving market for energy efficient products and services.

To showcase and promote American and German partnerships in the green building sector, GACC Midwest hosted an Energy Efficiency Award Challenge in Chicago, IL on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

The event consisted of three parts: presentations, a site visit, and an evening reception. The morning featured presentations of the four finalist of the Energy Efficiency Award Challenge as well as German and American expert speakers. This provided attendees the chance to learn about how new building regulations and increased paybacks have improved energy efficiency and building quality in the United States. The presentations were followed by a guided tour of the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago featuring German energy efficiency innovation. Afterwards, the Energy Efficiency Award was publicly presented at the Award Ceremony and Evening Reception.

Date & Venue

Thursday, April 7, 2016
10:00am - 7:30pm

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago
Tip Top Tap Room - 23rd Floor
701 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611


Please find a short overview of the agenda below: 

Part I: Energy Efficiency Presentations





Words of Welcome & Introduction
Mark Tomkins, President & CEO, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc.


Empowering the Environment - Aktivhaus B10
Viola Kosseda, Project Manager Facades, WSNY, Inc.


Sustainable Trends
Colin Rohlfing, Vice President, Director of Sustainable Development, HDR - Chicago Office 


Showcase 1 - Waldsee BioHaus in Bemidji, MN
Stephan Tanner, Registered Architect, AIA, Principal, Intep - Integrated Planning, LLC


Coffee Break & Networking


Showcase 2 - Integrated Energy Master Plan for the City of Holland, MI
Oliver Baumann, President, Baumann Consulting, Inc.


Showcase 3 - Herman Miller in Spring Lake, MI
Jan Hoetzel, Managing Director, Airleader - WF Steuerungstechnik GmbH


Showcase 4 - Bullitt Center in Seattle, WA
Attila Arian, President, Schüco USA LLLP


Closing Remarks
Corinna Jess, Senior Manager, Market Entry Programs & Delegations, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc.


Lunch & Networking Break

Part II: Site Visit


Depart on chartered bus to Mansueto Library

  • Space on the bus is limited to 40 people.
  • Due to the logistics of the event participants must take the bus to the site visits (not own transportation)
  • Participants will be back at approx. 5:00pm

3:00pm - 4:00pm 


Mansueto Library
The University of Chicago
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago , IL 60637

Guided tour of the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago by:

  • Stephan Wurster, Sales Manager, seele, Inc. 
  • Larry Blouin, Director of Construction Management for Facilities Services, The University of Chicago


Board bus and depart for the Award Ceremony & Evening Reception

Part III: Award Ceremony & Evening Reception

The Energy Efficiency Award will be publicly presented at the Award Ceremony and Evening Reception. Appetizers and beverages will be served.





Words of Welcome & Energy Efficiency Award Presentation
W. David Braun, Chairman, GACC Midwest and Partner,  Quarles & Brady LLP


Celebration of the Award Winner & Networking


End of the Event



Our Energy Efficiency Award Winner



Airleader installed their master controller in the Spring Lake facility in Michigan of Herman Miller, a global leader in sustainability that engages in design and manufacture of office furniture systems to increase the efficiency and reliability of HMs compressor system. As a result, the facility saved 750,000 kWh or 21.1%, while improving system reliability. The project was cash positive in the first year. Since the installation, Herman Miller regularly utilizes the Airleader monitoring to improve system performance and air quality and has also purchased 2 more Airleader Master Controls for other facilities.

The Energy Efficiency Award Challenge is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)  as part of the "Energy Efficiency - Made in Germany" Initiative.

Event Impressions


Svenja Schroeder

Manager, Market Entry Programs, Delegations, and Events


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