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Nearly $1 billion earmarked for energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings

Government Buildings

Nearly $1 billion earmarked for energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings

About 40 million sf, 20% of GSA’s federal buildings portfolio, will be impacted by the energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | August 7, 2023
Nearly $1 billion earmarked for energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings, Photo: Image by MotionStudios from Pixabay

Photo: Image by MotionStudios from Pixabay

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced plans to use $975 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding for energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades to federal buildings across the country.

The investment will impact about 40 million sf, or about 20% of GSA’s federal buildings portfolio. It will expand the agency’s sustainable building portfolio to 134 million sf. The projects will enable 28 buildings to achieve net zero emissions, and 100 more buildings to become all-electric. GSA currently has about 200 buildings that are all-electric.

The plans include electrifying the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, one of the largest structures in GSA’s portfolio. The work will include installation of heat pumps as the primary heating source, while eliminating onsite combustion emissions and the use of steam onsite for space and water heating. The project calls for installation of 57,000 LED light bulbs, upgrading over 500 high efficiency transformers, and installing a reverse osmosis groundwater recovery system that is estimated to save 35 million gallons of water annually. After work is completed, the Reagan Building is estimated to reduce energy usage by 40% and realize an estimated $6.3 million savings in energy costs annually.

GSA plans to tap into private sector funds through performance contracts such as Energy Savings Performance Contracts and Utility Energy Savings Contracts; make direct investments in building retrofits to maximize greenhouse gas reductions as well as energy and water savings; and expand building technology innovation programs such as the Green Proving Ground and Applied Innovation Learning Lab programs as well as electric vehicle infrastructure.

“The Inflation Reduction Act investments put GSA three-quarters of the way toward meeting the Federal Building Performance Standard released last year, which sets an ambitious goal to cut energy use while electrifying equipment and appliances in 30% of the building space owned by the federal government by 2030,” according to a GSA news release.

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