Ongoing Assessments

In the News

Four Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) solutions selected for evaluation in 2020.

Technology Overview

Grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) deliver cost savings by leveraging technologies and strategies that provide continuous demand management and load flexibility. GEBs comprise an optimized blend of energy efficiency, energy storage, distributed energy generation, and load-flexible control technologies. What makes them unique is their ability to optimize across these attributes over time (today such measures are individually optimized) while providing superior load flexibility. The GEB strategy results in a less peaky, more flexible energy load profile that unlocks new opportunities for efficiency, cost savings, and resilience.

Why is GSA Interested?

A recent Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) report examined the benefits of a GEB strategy adopted across GSA’s entire portfolio. RMI identified five GEB capabilities with direct value for GSA:

  • demand-charge management
  • demand-response revenue
  • GEB-specific rebates and incentives
  • ability to access flexible time-of-use tariffs
  • cost savings from enhanced energy efficiency

RMI also noted the added benefits for GSA of:

  • better building control and occupant comfort
  • reduced CO2 emissions
  • deeper savings in energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy savings contracts (UESCs)
  • continued Federal-government and real-estate-industry leadership

If implemented comprehensively throughout GSA’s portfolio, RMI estimates $50 million in annual cost savings, $206 million in net present value over eight years, and payback under four years.

How Will Success Be Measured?

Key performance indicators will be demand charge savings greater than 10% and payback under 5 years. Labor required to manage the technology will be tracked against increased operating efficiencies.

GSA Proving Ground (GPG), in association with the Department of Energy National Laboratories, is evaluating the real-world performance of multiple GEB solutions at four GSA test-bed locations. GEB solutions will be provided by Kinetic Buildings; Data Systems Analysts; Logical Buildings/Comcast MachineQ; and Prescriptive Data.

Ongoing Assessments

ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Adaptive Control for Chilled Water Plants [PDF - 186 KB] optimizes the operation of central plant cooling systems by using an adaptive control algorithm to achieve efficiencies across a building’s entire chilled water system, including chillers, air handling units, fan coils, and other distribution equipment.

Circuit-Level Energy Monitoring [PDF - 213 KB] analyzes energy use in real-time on a circuit-by-circuit basis. Compared to traditional submetering, the data delivered is more granular and installation promises to be less costly.

Connected Building Operating System [PDF - 189 KB] increases building efficiency based on factors such as occupancy patterns, weather conditions, and real-time electricity consumption.

Wireless Sensors and Analytics [PDF - 217 KB] tests the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) by using relatively inexpensive and easy-to-install wireless, lighting-fixture-based sensors that detect and record changes in occupancy, temperature, visible light, infrared radiation, and LED power consumption.

HVAC

Smart Scrubbers for HVAC Load Reduction [PDF - 214 KB] reduces the volume of outside air required to maintain indoor air quality (IAQ) by using absorbent materials to selectively remove contaminants from HVAC airflow.

On-Site Power & Renewables

DC Microgrid Study [PDF - 189 KB] connects on-site energy generation and storage devices to direct current (DC) loads, eliminating conversion losses and optimizing the efficiency of on-site power.

WATER

Catalyst-Based Scale Prevention for Cooling Towers [PDF - 186 KB] alters the chemistry of hard water to prevent calcite buildup.

Monitoring and Partial Water Softening [PDF - 186 KB] optimizes chilled water system performance by reducing the amount of “blowdown” water used to remove mineral build-up.

The GPG program enables GSA to make sound investment decisions in next-generation building technologies based on their real-world performance.

Last Reviewed: 2020-09-24