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EPA and GSA Team Up to Promote Energy Efficiency in Federal Facilities in Boston and New England

Release Date: 11/17/2011
Contact Information: US EPA, David Deegan, (617) 918-1017 GSA, Patrick Sclafani, (617) 565-5112

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 17, 2011) – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have joined forces to promote the Federal Green Challenge Initiative in New England federal facilities.

The Federal Green Challenge Initiative is a voluntary program designed to help federal agencies improve operating efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint.  GSA’s goal is to reduce the environmental footprint of New England federal facilities by at least five percent annually in a minimum of two of the following areas:  waste, electronics, purchasing, transportation, water and energy. 

EPA and GSA are also “walking the talk,” leading by example with the management of the John M. McCormack building in downtown Boston, which is a federally-owned and managed building.  The McCormack building, built in 1933 and which underwent a complete renovation and restoration project completed in 2009, was recently awarded an ENERGY STAR rating for superior energy efficiency.

“It’s extremely important that we at EPA help shine a light on how environmentally-friendly decisions can result in a comfortable and healthy workplace,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.  “EPA’s home in Boston boasts increased energy-efficiency and other environmentally-preferable features, housed in a historically-significant building that retains its unique character and charm.”

“We have an obligation to the taxpayers of today and tomorrow.  By working to ensure federal buildings are as efficient as possible, we're saving money and promoting a healthier environment for ourselves and our children,” said Bob Zarnetske, regional administrator of GSA’s Region 1 office in Boston.

During its renovation, completed in 2009, the McCormack building was designed to meet ENERGY STAR and energy efficiency improvements through the careful use of insulation; double-paned, low-e windows; capturing daylight; lighting upgrades with motion sensors and daylight dimmers; variable speed drives for fans and pumps; and high efficiency chillers.  The building's energy operations have earned an ENERGY STAR label with an energy efficiency rating of 75.   This means that the building's energy efficiency is better than 75 percent of all other office buildings in the U.S.   The building’s renovations also earned a LEED certification of Gold. The building also features a green roof and water conservation measures.

The Federal Green Challenge Initiative being championed by EPA and GSA supports President Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance.  By joining, federal facilities will receive hands-on technical support, purchasing and facility management assistance from EPA and GSA.  Other federal agencies in the New England region are encouraged to join the program by December 5. 

Buildings use a lot of energy, between lighting, climate control, office equipment, etc.  Nearly 20 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S., at a cost of more than $100 billion a year, occurs in buildings other than houses and other dwellings.  Further, nearly a third of that energy goes to waste.

Energy Star was started by EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.  Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA.  Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved $18 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 33 million vehicles.

More Information: 

- Federal Green Challenge: (http://www.epa.gov/fgc/ )

- McCormack Building in downtown Boston: (http://www.epa.gov/oaintrnt/facilities/boston-hq.htm )

- Energy Star tools for building management: (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=business.bus_index )

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