A Sight to Behold -- New Video Wall at San Francisco Federal Building

By Gene P. Gibson
General Services Administration

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 14, 2010 – GSA’s new San Francisco Federal Building is the pilot for a rollout of an innovative messaging tool for federal facilities that will save enough energy to power a house for more than a year.

As part of the pilot, the San Francisco Federal Building’s video wall was upgraded with a new high tech high-definition video wall. When it opened in 2007, the building had a video wall that displayed visual information and images. The new technology saves 14,218 kilowatt-hours per year compared to the previous video wall, enough energy to power the average American home for about 15 months, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

A major goal of the interactive video wall is to inform and positively affect behavior. The video display highlights the federal building’s energy and water conservation. With streaming Web content, live TV feed with closed captions, tenant-originated content, info on facility business and social activities, a building directory, and real-time information on weather and local mass transit commute info, the video wall is already an invaluable information source for tenants and visitors.

The software that powers the technology accepts all types of image and video file formats, and the wall itself consists of 16 high-definition, ultrathin LCD display panels stacked four high and four wide. The technology is controlled through a single online computer and offers the user different grouping layout options for a limitless variety of displays.

The video wall displays are fluid, with various images rotating every minute or so. One of the eye-catching images is a full-video wall view of the Golden Gate Bridge that is interspersed with an aerial view of the Oakland Bay Bridge. At about 9 feet high and nearly 19 feet long, the video wall is hard to miss and very easy to view.

It’s a new dimension in messaging and communicating in federal facilities.

The video wall plan incorporates a highly interactive, stand-alone, touch-sensitive monitor allowing tenants and visitors access to a wide range of building information.

Audio is an option, with four ceiling speakers and through the use of a hand-held microphone, making the video wall truly an audio/visual experience. And to ensure that the video wall is available as a communication tool at all times, even during emergencies, it is connected to the facility emergency generator.

The video wall has been a big hit with everyone who passes through the main lobby, especially the wide-eyed children from the Kids by the Bay Childcare Center.

* This project was a collaborative effort between GSA's Smart Buildings Division in Facilities Management and Services Program, and the Sansome Field Office in San Francisco.

Enovity Inc., the San Francisco Federal Building’s operations and maintenance contractor, worked diligently with building management and contractors to deliver the project from start to finish.

* Information updated to reflect Sansome Field Office, as of Dec. 23, 2010.

Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13