Sustainability Gaining Momentum for Government Managed Buildings

Lucas Hamilton

Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation

I recently had the pleasure of doing a presentation to the General Services Administration (GSA) region 3 office in Philadelphia.  I was invited by a GSA architect who had participated in a previous seminar I had conducted for the American Institute of Architects (AIA).  The presentation was also simulcast to other GSA offices as well as employees who were telecommuting.

What I was not aware of prior to my visit is that GSA in responsible for public buildings that are non-military, non-postal service or other organizations that control their own real estate around the county. Not only do they have continuing education requirements within their organization they have a strong emphasis on sustainability. That’s exactly what you want to hear from government.

GSA serves as the property managers for many of the buildings around us every day. Given that at least 90 percent of our building inventory needs to be upgraded for energy efficiency, it was reassuring to see that the folks who are responsible for government controlled public buildings are on board with sustainability and are staying on the leading edge of knowledge. I was especially pleased to learn that the emphasis of sustainability doesn’t simply stop at how a building is designed and constructed but goes all the way through the way the GSA operates and procures for these buildings.

It was great to see that the culture of GSA is entrenched in sustainability.  That, for me, sends a message that we are on the right track of a very long road toward significant improvements in reducing the carbon footprint of our building inventory.

Comments
  • Dear Lucas,
    Nice article.

    As someone who has spend the last 20 years supporting many of the GSA national energy efficiency efforts,your observations regarding GSA’s national push to address the Planet/People/and the Economy is quite factual.

    For example, to gain a much greater understanding of how its owned and operated facilities (in all 11 GSA regions) were performing in terms of energy intensity per gross square foot (Btu/GSF), Green House Gas (GHG)reduction against agency yearly targets, power quality and reliability, and utility bill analysis, GSA was one of the first federal agencies to install advanced metering, on a large scale, in its PBS buildings. Additionally, this action was taken prior to the passing of federal energy legislation as as (EPACT 2005, EISA 2007, etc.) The meter (energy usage data) data that GSA was able to capture, analyze, and store since 2004 have been the blue print for its energy efficiency and sustainability efforts that you now see.

    I know the team in GSA’s Region 3, and they have completed several notable and highly successful energy project’s throughout the Region.

    GSA is certainly leading by “example” and I’m proud to be apart of their sustained efforts.

    Best Regards,

    Millennium Energy Consultants, LLC

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