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HomeContractingGSA awards $22.7 million to electrify Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade...

GSA awards $22.7 million to electrify Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded a $22,688,000 contract to Johnson Controls Federal Systems for the electrification of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in the District.

Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the structure is one of more than 100 buildings that GSA plans to upgrade with emerging and sustainable technologies in its effort to achieve net-zero emissions of federal buildings by 2045.

The project, which GSA announced earlier this year, will fully electrify the site by installing heat pump technology and, consequently, remove the building from the Washington, D.C., natural gas powered central steam plant loop operated by GSA’s Heating Operation and Transmission Division.

Transitioning from fossil-fuel based steam to all-electric heat pump technology – alongside other energy-efficiency upgrades – is expected to cut the amount of energy used per square foot by almost 50% and greenhouse gas emissions by over 50%. The full project is expected to save over $6.2 million annually in utility costs.

“GSA is excited to be making this investment in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center,” Elliot Doomes, GSA’s Public Buildings Service Commissioner said in a Nov. 17 statement. “This project will not only use clean energy technologies to lower energy costs, but it will also create good-paying local jobs and reduce harmful carbon pollution, making it a win-win for the federal government, local D.C. residents, and taxpayers.”

The building was built in 1990 as a result of the Federal Triangle Development Act. In 1995, Congress named the building after President Reagan, who had signed the legislation authorizing its construction. With the dedication of the building on May 5, 1998, the last vacant property between the Capitol and the White House was filled and the work of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation was completed. Currently, this building is the largest structure in Washington, D.C., and it is dedicated to both government and private use.

The new project is slated to begin spring 2024 with substantial completion anticipated for spring 2025. The project will include installing new electric heat pumps and supplemental electric boilers for heating hot water systems, installing new heat pump chillers, and replacing domestic hot water heaters using steam with electric heaters, among other updates.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes $3.4 billion for GSA to use its buying power to promote the development and manufacturing  of low-embodied carbon construction materials and to make federal facilities more  sustainable and cost-efficient. GSA’s Inflation Reduction Act projects will implement new technologies and accelerate GSA’s efforts in achieving a net-zero emissions federal building portfolio by 2045. Through these investments, GSA estimates that it could reduce carbon emissions by over 2 million metric tons in operational greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the equivalent of taking about 500,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

Mark Buckshon
Mark Buckshonhttps://washingtonconstructionnews.com
Mark Buckshon is the publisher and interim editor of Washington Construction News. He is also president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies. He combines a journalism and business background, and has published construction trade publications for more than 30 years, after an earlier career in journalism, which culminated when he lived through the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1978-80 as a sub-editor for the Bulawayo Chronicle and a correspondent for a Canadian news service.

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