GSA Tests Innovative Building Technologies, Aims for Savings

Sep 26, 2012, 12:17 ET from U.S. General Services Administration

Emerging technologies increase efficiency and reduce costs in federal buildings

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. General Services Administration released two new reports today as part of the Green Proving Ground program, unveiling technologies that reduce energy use in federal buildings and have significant savings potential if widely implemented. GSA works with the Department of Energy's National Laboratories to test the viability of energy efficient technologies that can be installed in buildings across the country. GSA is also announcing today that it will test and evaluate 12 additional sustainable building technologies in GSA's federal buildings.

The technologies for the Green Proving Ground program are selected for their potential to help reduce operating costs and to meet the sustainability goals in President Obama's Executive Order on environmental, energy and economic performance.

"This innovative program is another example of GSA leading the way for the federal government," said Dorothy Robyn, Commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service. "By testing the effectiveness of these technologies, GSA is finding new ways that federal buildings across the nation can save both energy and taxpayer dollars."

The two studies released today include an evaluation of responsive lighting systems and plug load control.

The Responsive Lighting study evaluated the performance of new workstation-specific lighting systems. The study was conducted in five federal buildings in California and Nevada that represented a diverse set of agencies, occupancy patterns, work styles, and lighting. Results showed energy savings that ranged from approximately 27 to 63 percent over baseline conditions depending on the work space's normal use. Lighting accounts for 39 percent of electricity costs in office buildings.

The Plug Load Control study evaluated advanced power strips (APS) in eight GSA buildings in the Mid-Atlantic region.  These power strips save energy by controlling plug-in devices according to a schedule or based on a given device crossing a power threshold. Results showed the APS' schedule based capability to be highly effective, reducing plug loads at workstations by 26 percent, and nearly 50 percent in kitchens and printer rooms. This technology could significantly reduce costs, as plug-loads account for roughly 25 percent of total electricity consumed within office buildings.

GSA is also announcing today that it will test and evaluate 12 additional emerging sustainable building technologies in select federal facilities. Results from these evaluations will continue to increase performance of GSA's buildings by reducing operational costs, increasing environmental efficiency, and assisting industry in deploying new technologies and practices into the broader market. This year's technologies include wireless lighting controls, LED luminaires, glazing retrofit coatings, wireless pneumatic thermostats, solar thermal collectors and water saving landscape irrigation systems.

GSA owns and leases 9,600 buildings across the country and has the real estate portfolio needed to broadly test and install these technologies.

For more information on the 12 new technologies selected for evaluation as part of GSA's Green Proving Ground this year, as well as results from last year's program, visit

The Responsive Lighting study can is posted here

The Plug Load Control study is posted here

SOURCE U.S. General Services Administration