Tuesday, March 8, 2011

'Green Proving Ground'

GSA strives to be 'green proving ground' for net-zero energy use

03/07/2011 - With all new government buildings required to be net-zero -- or to produce as much energy as they consume -- by 2030, the General Services Administration has begun converting some existing facilities to attain net-zero usage in an effort to learn what works and what does not. It aims to emerge as a "green proving ground" for other agencies and the private sector, a senior GSA official told Nextgov.

President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 in October 2009 setting sustainability goals for federal agencies and requiring them to submit a greenhouse pollution reduction target by 2020. The order reminded agencies of the existing requirement that buildings be designed to achieve net-zero energy use by 2030, and mandated all new building projects that enter the planning phase after 2020 be designed to meet that standard as well.

The new norm in the future will be net-zero, and GSA is starting down that path, said Steve Leeds, the agency's senior sustainability officer. GSA has announced plans to convert two existing buildings to net-zero status. {continued}

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