Zero Environmental Footprint Garage
The new Zero Environmental Footprint (ZEF) garage in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, is nearly complete. Currently slated to be finished this summer, it is a successful example of GSA’s Sustainability Environmental Management System (SEMS) program rolling out across the nation. The garage consolidates 500 surface parking spaces into a 4-floor solar paneled facility with 60 electric vehicle charging stations. Not only does the Hato Rey Garage meet its SEMS pledge by consolidating usable space and reducing energy costs, it pays forward through a hydro-permeable design which allows storm water runoff control.
GSA adopted its SEMS program as a way to meet the targets set by the White House, in Executive Order 13514 - Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. Using SEMS allows GSA to manage its sustainability initiatives in a “comprehensive, systematic, planned, and documented manner… based on three standards often referred to as the triple bottom line: economic, environmental, and social sustainability.”
GSA describes sustainability as balancing the needs of the present with the needs of the future. In other words, projects constructed today must not only meet current tax-payer requirements but also provide their anticipated needs for years to come. ZEF allows GSA to be a proving ground and showcase for the best in clean, high performance buildings – a catalyst for innovation and change.
Replacing the original flat parking lot with a single multilevel structure to service both the Federico Degetau Federal Building and Ruiz Nazario U.S. Courthouse, also frees enough land for construction of a new 240,000 square foot federal building that will help to consolidate federal agency operations further, continuing to save tax-payer funding.
This $20 million garage project and others like it at the Hato Rey federal campus were made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.