The Greater Southwest Region is working hard to support GSA priorities and goals to promote sustainability, increase energy efficiency, and reduce costs. We recently established an “Energy and Sustainability Branch” in the region , which is helping us to better manage federal facilities and implement many strategies to save taxpayer dollars and conserve energy and water.
The Energy and Sustainability Branch is currently managing seven LEED buildings, two certified silver and two gold, as well as the Agency’s only LEED Platinum building, the Hipolito Garcia Federal Building and U.S. Courthousein San Antonio, Texas. The Hipolito Garcia Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse is expected to achieve nearly 40 percent reduction in energy usage, which will result in energy cost savings of approximately $87,515 per year. GSA added interior storm windows, high efficiency boilers and chillers, advanced lighting control systems, advance building automation system, energy recovery systems, photovoltaic panels and a green roof. Additionally, the building consumes about 50 percent less water as a result of replacing 70-year-old fixtures with new low flow fixtures. In addition, the Greater Southwest Region currently has seven projects in various stages of design or construction that are working toward LEED Gold certification status.
We’ve made extensive use of our three Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) to improve the energy efficiency of 75 buildings in the Greater Southwest Region. ESPCs leverage private sector funds to make guaranteed improvements by retrofitting federal buildings without an up-front investment from the taxpayer. The savings pay for the retrofit project and provide the government with lower utility bills for decades.
The Greater Southwest Region is home to fifty-one past and currently certified Energy Star buildings. In order to earn the Energy Star label from the Environmental Protection Agency, a building must perform in the top 25 percent of similar type and size buildings in terms of its energy efficiency. The Region has also been a strong participant in the EPA Green Partners Program for Federal Agency Partners, and has ranked in the top-ten partners for Government Agency partners.
We’ve also installed state of the art building automation systems and advanced metering systems in many of our larger buildings to improve energy use management.
By using a variety of strategies, our Energy and Sustainability Branch is redoubling our ongoing efforts to make government more sustainable while delivering better value and savings to the American people.