GSA's Green Office Buildings
by Kevin Kampschroer
Kevin Kampschroer was recently named the permanent director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings in the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Here's some of his perspective on green building, as shared with Congress in testimony on converting federal buildings across the country into higher-performing, more-efficient green buildings. — Editor
GSA, through its Public Buildings Service (PBS), is one of the largest and most diversified public real estate organizations in the world. Our inventory consists of more than 8,600 owned and leased assets with nearly 354 million square feet (32.9 million square meters) of rentable space across all 50 states, six territories and the District of Columbia. Our portfolio is composed primarily of office buildings and courthouses, land ports of entry, and warehouses.
GSA's goal is to manage these assets responsibly while delivering and maintaining superior workplaces at best value to our client agencies and the American taxpayer. And we collaborate with other federal agencies not only as our clients, but also as partners in developing, implementing and evaluating federal green building programs, for example, through such programs as Energy Star, which is jointly run by the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Energy.
Green Building Cost and Value
High-performing green buildings provide the best value for the taxpayer and for the public through both life cycle cost benefits and positive effects of human health and performance. A recent study of GSA's 12 earliest green federal buildings shows energy use is down 26% and occupant satisfaction up 27%, compared to commercial office benchmark data ("Assessing Green Building Performance," K.M. Fowler et al., GSA, 2008). More importantly, the top third of studied buildings, which use an integrated design approach, deliver significantly better results, with 45% less energy consumption, 53% lower maintenance costs, and 39% less water use.
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This article is an excerpt of testimony given by Kevin Kampschroer before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, on July 16, 2009.