Saturday, December 24, 2011

Federal Buildings Go Green

Federal buildings, old and new, go green
12/22/2011 - Two more large federal buildings are going green. One of them is among the oldest buildings in the federal inventory: the Treasury building in Washington. The other is one of the newest: Defense Department's Mark Center in Alexandria, Va.

The main Treasury building, located right next door to the White House, is the third oldest building in the federal government's real estate inventory. It was built over a period of 33 years, between 1836 and 1869. Only the White House itself and the U.S. Capitol are older.

"When you think about a green building, you probably don't think of a century-plus old national historic landmark that's lined with columns and made of thousands of tons of granite," said Dan Tangherlini, Treasury's assistant secretary for management. "We're hoping we can change that impression."


"New construction is more of a snapshot in time, and you would hopefully keep going with continuing improvement," she said. "Ideally, you start with the best building you can and you keep improving. But there's a lot of buildings out there that are already existing, and we need to engage those. Performance is really where the savings are coming from."

In Treasury's case, it expects its LEED improvements — both to the building and to its day-to-day processes — to save serious money. About $3.5 million in reduced annual costs will come from a 43 percent decrease in water use, a 7 percent decrease in electricity use and a 53 percent cut in steam use. read more>>>

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