Our project list was selected from an initial list of existing GSA pipeline projects that could be awarded within two years. The list we developed included detailed information on cost, schedule, energy benefits, and the impact on the repair and alterations backlog for each project. Our repair and alterations backlog was over $7 billion â just for minimum repair with limited consideration of high performance green features.. Our criteria in selecting projects considered both putting people back to work quickly and transforming Federal buildings into high-performance green buildings. Our selection criteria included:
â˘ High -performance features, with an emphasis on energy conservation and renewable energy generation;
â˘ Speed of construction start, with an emphasis on those projects that could begin within 120 days;
â˘ Low risk that the project would fail to be completed on time;
â˘ Condition of the facility;
â˘ Ability to improve the utilization of the building;
â˘ High return on investment;
â˘ Degree to which lease costs would be avoided through the project; and
â˘ Historic significance of the building.
Many of the projects in the new Federal construction and building modernization categories have previously received partial funding for design or for early phases of the project. With ARRA funding, we can quickly start or expand construction on these projects. At the same time, we are identifying ways to improve existing designs on these projects. This includes such improvements as:
â˘ Adding thicker than required insulation where climatically, it makes sense to;
â˘ Installing variable frequency drives to reduce energy and extend the life of mechanical equipment;
â˘ Converting existing designs for parking structure lighting to LED (light-emitting diode), dramatically lowering energy consumption, while improving safety and visibility and reducing required maintenance. LEDs can last two to three times as long as typical garage or parking lot lights;
â˘ Specifying more efficient windows than originally designed or included in the design. Often, the initial expense and long payback period for high efficiency windows precludes them from being included in building renovations; and
â˘ Specifying dual flush toilets and waterless or low water urinals to save water and reduce demand on aging city sewer systems.
We have also identified high performance green building projects that target repairing, enhancing and tuning-up our building infrastructure. These projects are similar in scope and, therefore, can be rapidly deployed in many buildings concurrently. These projects can significantly improve the energy performance of our buildings and include measures such as:
â˘ Installing intelligent lighting systems that provide daylight and provide controls for occupants to adjust for ambient light versus task light.
â˘ Replacing flat roofs with ENERGY STAR membranes, integrated photovoltaic panels bonded to the membrane, photovoltaic panels, or planted roofs. These options offer benefits ranging from increasing the life of the roof, to producing energy and to reducing the âheat islandâ effect of a black roof. We expect to install some form of photovoltaic energy generation on 30 of the 59 roofs we are touching.
â˘ Accelerating the installation of advanced metersârequired under the Energy Policy Act to be completed by 2012. Advanced meters enable us to better manage buildings by instantaneously providing information on a buildingâs energy use and encouraging immediate operational changes.
An example of the innovative features we will be incorporating into some of the projects on our Recovery Act list is the Edith Green - Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon. This is a 1975 building in downtown Portland. As part of this project, GSA will install a new high-performance double glass enclosure over the entire building which will dramatically enhance energy performance and blast resistance. Each of the four facades will have a different treatment relative to the sunâs orientation. On the west faĂ§ade, vegetative âfinsâ will provide shade, reducing the load on the new high-efficiency HVAC system that will be installed. The re-skinning of this building also upgrades the building for seismic events and will result in additional 2,000 square feet of space per floor. These are just some of the âgreenâ improvements that GSA will make as part of this project. We expect the building to attain a LEED Gold rating.
GSA - Tracking Hearing #2: GSA Stimulus Funds-Up, Out, and Creating Jobs