The Biden Administration’s Ambitious Plan to Green Federal Buildings
The Biden administration is set to make a significant investment in upgrading federal buildings with sustainable technology. According to The Washington Post, nearly $1 billion will be allocated from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to fund this initiative.
The General Services Administration (GSA), responsible for managing the U.S. government’s properties, plans to transform 100 federal facilities into all-electric buildings and achieve net-zero emissions in 28 of them. The budget for this project is estimated at $975 million, as reported by The Washington Post.
The GSA aims to attract an additional $925 million in private sector investment, bringing the total funding to approximately $1.9 billion. This ambitious endeavor seeks to revamp 40 million square feet of federal property, which accounts for about 20 percent of all buildings managed by the GSA.
Leading by Example
“GSA is really trying to lead by example in these new kinds of buildings,” said Jetta Wong, senior climate advisor at the GSA, in an interview with The Washington Post. “If we can do it in the federal government, the private sector can do it, too.”
One of the notable projects in the pipeline is the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The GSA plans to invest up to $13.5 million to fully electrify this building, which happens to be the fourth largest under its management. The retrofit will include the installation of 57,000 energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, electric heat pumps, boilers, and other green upgrades.
Victor Olgyay, an architect at the electrification think tank RMI, believes that the administration’s spending could stimulate private sector demand for similar upgrades. RMI partially funded a study that played a central role in recent efforts by the Biden administration to regulate gas stoves.
“When the GSA says, ‘We’re going to replace this gas water heater with an electric heat pump water heater,’ that helps change the market and send a signal to the private sector,” explained Olgyay in an interview with The Washington Post.
However, Olgyay also noted that in certain cases, such as laboratories and data centers, it may be more cost-effective to demolish and rebuild older buildings rather than attempting to electrify them.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the GSA for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
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