Siemens Industry Inc. has announced the winners of its inaugural Smartest Building in America Challenge. Grand-prize winners are the Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, N.C., and Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Runner-up winners are the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Rasmussen Building at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Five industry experts chose the winners from a wide range of facilities from across the United States.

Grand-prize winners will receive $25,000 in products and services from Siemens’ Building Technologies Division or a $25,000 contribution to qualified charities of their choice. Runners-up will receive $15,000 in products and services or a $15,000 contribution to qualified charities of their choice.

2010 Grand-Prize Winners

• The Duke Energy Center is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Core and Shell 2.0 Platinum certified office tower with 48 stories and 1.5 million sq ft. Using Siemens' APOGEE Building Automation System, it creates operational efficiencies that have reduced energy consumption by 22 percent.

• The Iowa Central Community College Biotechnology and Health Science Building is a LEED Gold building that relies on the Siemens TALON AX system to integrate six mechanical systems and operate equipment such as water-to-air heat pumps, pumping systems, water-to-water heat pumps, and air-handling units.

2010 Runners-Up

• Alaska’s Cold Climate Housing Research Center is in the process of receiving LEED Platinum certification, which would make it the northernmost LEED Platinum building in the world. Using the APOGEE system to handle Alaska’s extreme climate, the research center has more than 1,200 sensors that monitor everything from the walls to the roofs, rainwater, foundations, permafrost, and HVAC.

• The Rasmussen Building at Grand View University ensures the comfort of faculty and students while supporting art-department needs to showcase student work. Using the TALON system, the building automatically operates variable-air-volume boxes for the entire facility, raises and lowers window shades based on time of day and interior-room temperatures, and adjusts lighting for the art gallery and main conference room.

Open to any facility that operates APOGEE or TALON building-automation systems, the challenge looks for creative approaches taken by facility managers. Entries from the winners and other entrants can be viewed at www.smartestbuildinginamerica.com.