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James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse and William J. Green, Jr. Federal Building Complex in Philadelphia Wins Big in EPA Federal Green Challenge

The James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse and William J. Green, Jr. Federal Building Complex in Philadelphia was recently named the Mid-Atlantic Region winner of the 2015 Federal Green Challenge Award in the Energy Category.  The award recognizes outstanding efforts in 2014 to advance sustainability at the federal complex and GSA’s leadership in reducing the environmental footprint of federal government activities.

The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sustainable Materials Management Program, challenging EPA and other federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the federal government's environmental impact.  In 2014, more than 400 participating facilities, representing nearly 1.3 million federal employees, "walked the talk" in various sustainable target areas (waste, electronics, purchasing, water, energy and/or transportation) and reduced their environmental footprint, which in many cases also resulted in significant cost savings.

The energetic, self-motivated facility management team at the federal complex in Philadelphia acted as sustainability champions and committed to a 5% reduction goal per year in the two focus areas of waste and energy.  Their efforts resulted in electric usage reduction by 1.8% and natural gas usage reduction by 6.7%.  The total energy decrease in FY2014 was 7.9%, which was the largest reduction in energy among Mid-Atlantic Region Federal Green Challenge participating facilities.

GSA is committed to testing and employing cutting edge sustainable building technology across the agency.  Recent findings from studies conducted by the GSA Green Proving Ground (GPG), part of the GSA Office of Sustainability, demonstrate measurable benefits including a 54% energy savings in projects using Wireless Advanced Lighting Controls, which enable advanced lighting control functionality without the expense of installing dedicated wiring.

GPG technology evaluations have led to energy-saving technology deployment in 215 locations throughout the GSA portfolio, resulting in annual energy savings of 154,000 MMBtu, and a life-cycle energy cost avoidance of $28 million.  The GSALink Smart Building program, an industry-leading facilities analytics/monitoring system, allows us to quickly identify, address, and eliminate wasteful building management practices.  Today, 72% of our GSA national fleet is alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles, which achieved a 20% improvement in miles per gallon in FY 2014 alone.  Increasing our use of renewable energy, GSA has reduced our greenhouse gas production nationwide by 43% since 2008.  

Our efforts are having a tangible effect on the environment around us while saving American taxpayer dollars.

This article is part of the Summer 2015 issue of the FOCUS newsletter. Please visit the Focus Newsletter page to read our newsletter. To subscribe to FOCUS, complete the online subscription form.


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