GSA, NREL Publish Blueprint for Expanding Deployment of Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings in the Federal Portfolio

May 17, 2021

Federal agencies can use blueprint to integrate GEB technologies into energy savings performance contracts

WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have published a blueprint for integrating grid-interactive technologies into building renovation and improvement projects, particularly using federal energy savings performance contracts. A grid-interactive efficient building (GEB) is an energy-efficient building that interacts with the electric grid. It uses smart technologies to reduce, shed, shift, modulate, or generate electricity load, as needed.

The blueprint puts practical guidance and tools into the hands of building operators to help them integrate GEB technologies into current and future energy savings performance contracts. This integration will further reduce energy usage and cost in federal buildings without impacting occupants’ comfort or productivity. The report provides best practices and guidance on how to integrate GEB energy analysis procedures and technologies in all five phases of a performance contract.

“Working on the President’s climate agenda is an exceptionally exciting and rewarding endeavor,” said Kevin Kampschroer, director of the GSA Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings. “Through our National Deep Energy Retrofit program, GSA has been a leader in energy efficiency for decades. With this GEB blueprint from NREL, we will broaden our innovation in whole-building energy and cost savings and greenhouse gas reductions.”

“Grid-interactive efficient building technologies will serve as an integral part of the ever-evolving energy landscape over the next few decades,” said Sheila Hayter, NREL Laboratory Program Manager for DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). “The NREL team is very grateful for the opportunity to assist GSA with developing this blueprint. The report draws upon NREL’s history of supporting FEMP’s performance contracting program, and NREL’s smart buildings and grid-interactive efficient buildings technical expertise. NREL is excited to be helping GSA continue to lead the federal sector in developing and applying advanced building technologies and procurement solutions.”

GSA will first use the blueprint to choose sites from its real estate portfolio that have the greatest potential for cost-effective GEB implementation, and implement GEB technologies in upcoming energy performance contracts, as well as building modernization projects.

Although the recommendations in the blueprint are focused on the GSA portfolio, GSA encourages other landholding federal agencies to use its best practices.

“We have the responsibility to support federal agencies by providing healthy, productive, and efficient buildings and real estate solutions,” said Acting PBS Commissioner Allison Azevedo. “Integrating grid-interactive technologies in buildings has the potential to make a significant impact on the federal government's operations and the environment. This blueprint will make the integration process easy and seamless for building managers.”

In July 2020, GSA selected four GEB solutions for testing in GSA facilities. Those assessments are ongoing in the GSA Green Proving Ground.

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About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of more than 370 million rentable square feet and overseeing approximately $68 billion in annual contracts. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition and technology services across government, in support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities. For more information, visit: www.gsa.gov and follow us at @USGSA.

Last Reviewed: 2021-05-17