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Building Projects Exemplify GSA’s Commitment to Sustainability

| GSA Blog Team
Post filed in: Green

GSA's work to improve sustainability series Part 2 | Part 1

Last week, we shared some of the measures that GSA has been taking to improve sustainability across our construction projects and real estate portfolio. From reducing waste to using more efficient technologies, GSA has been taking lessons learned from our projects to help build better and smarter facilities for our customers.

Exterior view of a three level modern building at evening time
[Photo courtesy by Tim Griffith]

For example, GSA’s contractors at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (pictured right) project diverted 76% (over 11,000 tons) of construction and demolition waste from landfills. Two facilities on the campus earned LEED gold certifications in 2020. Both facilities are acknowledged for incorporating innovation in design, as well as the use of water-efficient landscaping, regional and recycled materials, and low-emitting materials that enhance indoor environmental quality. Both of the buildings have reduced their potable water usage by at least 30%, and cut their annual energy costs by at least 40%. 

This year, the three-phase San Ysidro Land Port of Entry project in San Diego became GSA’s first facility to earn three LEED Platinum certifications. This is the Western Hemisphere's busiest border crossing, and its energy efficiency has more than doubled since expansion began in 2010. San Ysidro has more than 100 kilowatts of onsite photovoltaic solar electric generation capacity, a solar water heating system, and 600 geothermal ground-source heat pump wells to provide efficient heating and cooling. San Ysidro is also home to GSA’s first and only onsite wastewater treatment facility: an innovative membrane bio-reactor that captures stormwater from across the facility, while also treating 100% of wastewater that is generated on-site -- including from sinks and even toilets. Reclaimed, treated wastewater meets all of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry’s landscape irrigation and restroom flushing water needs.

Across the nation, GSA is taking small and large steps to reduce our footprint, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our buildings, and provide a model for how the government can work smarter and better. From the federal fleet to each construction or modernization project, we’re looking at effective, innovative ways to do green business every day.