GSA’s ARRA-Funded Green Investments Help Federal Buildings Weather the Storm

Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded green investments are helping federal buildings use less energy, even during harsh winters. After analyzing the energy usage data of 59 federal buildings in eight states that were hardest hit by this past winter, GSA found that these buildings, all of which received ARRA-funded green investments, used an average of 5.5 percent less energy compared to the winter before the projects began. These buildings saved enough energy during the winter months to supply 640 U.S. homes with electricity for a full year. In addition, a third of these buildings showed double-digit energy savings. Below are three case studies from GSA’s analysis.

Harsh Winter Analysis Recovery Act Case Studies

Leo W. O’Brien Federal BuildingLeo O'Brien Federal Building, Picture

Completion Year: FY 2012
Winter Energy Cost Savings: $19,000
Winter Energy Reduction: 12.4%

Full-Year Energy Cost Savings: $60,398

Full-Year Energy Reduction: 20.5%
*Energy data and cost data from GSA’s Energy Usage Analysis System (EUAS); Winter data includes November 2013-March 2014 and is compared to an FY 2008 baseline.

At the Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building in Albany, N.Y., GSA used ARRA funds to invest in a complete re-commissioning of the existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC), as well as an advanced metering system to track electrical and water consumption. These building upgrades help optimize energy efficiency and overall building performance levels.  The building achieved LEED Certification in June 2013.  Total energy use over the five harsh winter months in FY 2014 (November 2013 – March 2014) is 12.4 percent less, as compared to the same months in FY 2008. Full-year energy reduction and full-year energy cost savings compares FY 2008 to FY 2013.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office (WFO)FBI WFO, Picture

Completion Year: FY 2011
Winter Energy Cost Savings: $81,980
Winter Energy Reduction: 9.5%

Full-Year Energy Cost Savings: $158,892

Full-Year Energy Reduction: 7.8%
* Energy data and cost data from GSA’s Energy Usage Analysis System (EUAS); Winter data includes November 2013-March 2014 and is compared to an FY 2008 baseline.

At the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, D.C., GSA used ARRA funds to invest in advanced metering and specialized lighting elements throughout the building for higher performance. The project replaced existing lighting fixtures and bulbs for lower energy consuming units, and installed auto-dimming systems, ballasts that adjust to daylight conditions through occupancy sensing, and a new building automation and controls system. Total energy use over the five harsh winter months in FY 2014 (November 2013 – March 2014) is 9.5 percent less, as compared to the same months in FY 2008. Full-year energy reduction and full-year energy cost savings compares FY 2008 to FY 2013.

The Robert A. Young Federal BuildingRobert A. Young, Picture

Completion Year: FY 2010
Winter Energy Cost Savings: $55,232
Winter Energy Reduction: 10.7%

Full-Year Energy Cost Savings: $263,245

Full-Year Energy Reduction: 20.5%
*Energy data and cost data from GSA’s Energy Usage Analysis System (EUAS); Winter data includes November 2013-March 2014 and is compared to an FY 2008 baseline.

At the Robert A. Young Federal Building in St. Louis, Mo., GSA used ARRA funds to invest in a complete retro-commissioning study to ensure proposed energy upgrades most effectively reduced operation and maintenance costs, as well as energy demand. The resulting project installed advanced metering systems to track energy consumption, repaired building façade and windows, upgraded HVAC systems and controls, and retrofitted the building with efficient LED lighting. The project further offset energy use by installing a renewable energy photovoltaic system on the roof, which converts sunlight to electricity. Total energy use over the five harsh winter months in FY 2014 (November 2013 – March 2014) is 10.7 percent less, as compared to the same months in FY 2008. Full-year energy reduction and full-year energy cost savings compares FY 2008 to FY 2013.

About GSA’s ARRA-Funded Projects

ARRA allocated funds for GSA to convert federal facilities into high-performance green buildings, and to address deferred maintenance needs and necessary facility upgrades. GSA has 447 federal buildings with completed or ongoing ARRA-funded projects. These investments are expected to reduce their buildings’ energy consumption by 19 percent and yield annual energy cost savings of $62 million once all are complete. For more information on GSA’s harsh winter analysis, click here.