Connecting the Dots

Employees enter the building at GSA's 1800 F Headquarters.
Employees enter the building at GSA’s 1800 F Headquarters. The turnstiles are connected to a system that checks them in and powers up their reserved desk space. Photo credit: Jeffrey MacMillan, Washington Post

You may already know that GSA’s headquarters building at 1800 F St. in Washington, DC ia an historic building that has been retrofitted with dozens of energy saving systems. But you may not be aware that those systems are tied into a sophisticated data collection and monitoring system that make it one of the smartest buildings around.

Today, the Washington Post featured our HQ, pointing out how these tools interact to save taxpayers money.

In June of last year, GSA deployed GSA Link, an analytics application developed by IBM that monitors the data from tens of thousands of sensors every five minutes and alerts GSA to any potential building faults.

Those faults include everything from recognizing when buildings are closed for holidays to making some interesting finds,

Building managers discovered a dead pigeon stuck in a vent, obstructing airflow, after detecting an irregularity in air flow data.

These are great for cutting energy use, but it’s one of the other systems that makes employees jobs a little easier:

Since about a month ago, GSA has connected the desk reservation system, called BookIt, to identification badges. When employees swipe in at the main entrance, the power source at their reserved desk turns on. Once the employee sits down, motion sensors under the desk detect whether a person is there and whether the light should be on.

All of these systems are what GSA is looking to share with other agencies across the country as we work to make the government more efficient and effective.