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Originally published in Interiors & Sources

07/26/2013

Government Buildings Go Green to Slash Expenses

GSA meets or exceeds all sustainability goals

 

Federal properties, which account for millions of square feet across the nation, are slowly pursuing sustainability initiatives. Reducing potable water, energy intensity use, and emissions are key benchmarks GSA is focusing on to lead by example.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) continues to save taxpayer dollars by increasing energy efficiency and reducing pollution, according to its sustainability and energy performance scorecard for 2012. GSA uses benchmarks provided by the Office of Management and Budget to identify and track progress toward sustainability and energy performance goals.

The agency has worked to improve federal buildings through the use of technologies such as solar panels, advanced lighting systems, geothermal technology, wind power, and low-flow plumbing systems.

By doing so, the agency achieved the following goals in FY 2012 and exceeded several 2020 goals as well:

  • 25% decrease in energy use intensity levels from 2003, a $65.5 million savings and 21% ahead of goal.
  • 35% elimination of greenhouse gas emissions since 2008, which exceeds its 2020 reduction target.
  • 20% water usage reduction over 2007, a savings of $6.5 million and 10% ahead of goal.
  • 36% decline in fleet petroleum consumption compared to 2005.

Despites these advances, the scorecard reports that just under 11% of GSA’s buildings are considered sustainable.

The portfolio, which includes thousands of owned and leased properties, offers many continued opportunities for the agency to lead by example in clean energy and green operations.

 

 
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