GSA studies energy reduction technologies in federal buildings

2012_09_gsabuilding Photo: General Services Adminstration

The General Services Administration released two reports on Wednesday as part of the “Green Proving Ground” program where the agency tests energy reduction technologies in federal buildings.

The two studies released include an evaluation of responsive lighting systems and plug load control.


The “Responsive Lighting” study evaluated the performance of new workstation-specific lighting systems. The study was conducted in five federal buildings in California and Nevada that represented a diverse set of agencies, occupancy patterns, work styles and lighting. Results showed energy savings that ranged from approximately 27 to 63 percent over baseline conditions depending on the work space’s normal use. Lighting accounts for 39 percent of electricity costs in office buildings.

The “Plug Load Control” study evaluated advanced power strips, or APS, in eight GSA buildings in the mid-Atlantic region. These power strips save energy by controlling plug-in devices according to a schedule or based on a given device crossing a power threshold, according to GSA.

Results showed the APS’ schedule based capability to be highly effective, reducing plug loads at workstations by 26 percent, and nearly 50 percent in kitchens and printer rooms. This technology could significantly reduce costs, as plug-loads account for roughly 25 percent of total electricity consumed within office buildings, according to GSA.

“This innovative program is another example of GSA leading the way for the federal government,” said GSA Public Buildings Service Commissioner Dorothy Robyn. “By testing the effectiveness of these technologies, GSA is finding new ways that federal buildings across the nation can save both energy and taxpayer dollars.”

The technologies for the “Green Proving Ground” program are selected for their potential to help reduce operating costs and to meet the sustainability goals in President Obama’s executive order on environmental, energy and economic performance.

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