ARRA funds go to greening federal buildings


The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently reached the milestone of investing $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for energy efficiency in federal buildings nationwide.

Since the passage of the Recovery Act in 2009, the GSA has awarded construction projects to more than 500 companies, creating jobs in all 50 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia. To accomplish this feat, the GSA streamlined operations to quickly award contracts and begin construction on hundreds of green projects. The agency anticipates that all new and significantly upgraded federal buildings will achieve at least a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver certification, thanks to the GSA's use of sustainable design and technology.

The GSA Recovery Act projects include: construction of a new energy-efficient courthouse in Austin, Texas, incorporating innovative features such as high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, extensive use of natural light, and a efficient "green" roof; the installation of solar panels and insulation on the roof of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Regional Office and Insurance Center in Pennsylvania; and renovation of the Goodfellow Federal Center in St. Louis, modernizing the 1941-vintage structure with advanced lighting systems, maximum daylight, a high-performance heating and cooling system, and solar hot water. The GSA was given $5.5 billion under the Recovery Act to create green federal facilities.

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