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Federal Building Cuts EUI by 40%

1970s-era facility targets lighting, HVAC, and envelope improvements


1970s-era facility targets lighting, HVAC, and envelope improvements.

This 1970s-era property upgraded key switchgear, HVAC, envelope, and lighting components. PHOTO CREDIT: GSA

GSA efforts continue to sharply reduce the impact of federal buildings on the environment by embracing sustainability standards. After an extensive retrofit, the Jackson Federal Building has dropped energy intensity usage by 40%.

Located in downtown Seattle and constructed in the 1970s, this property is the largest federal office building in GSA’s Northwest/Arctic Region. It underwent a $42 million renovation that took over two years to complete. Electrical switchgear, HVAC, envelope, and lighting were key areas for improvement:

  • To tighten the envelope, 3,500 windows were upgraded. The project team cut costs by contracting with the original company, which still had the dies for the unusually sized and shaped windows.
  • All lighting and associated control systems were replaced.
  • GSA used a design-build contract with a measurement and verification component to ensure the contractual energy goals were reached.
  • The project was completed while the facility was fully operational and occupied without disruption to tenant agencies and their mission. This was accomplished by an intense phasing and coordination effort.
  • Traditional electric sliding doors in the lobby were replaced with revolving doors to better conserve heated or cooled air.
  • The building earned LEED: EBOM Gold certification in May 2014.

The project is already saving nearly $400,000 annually in operation costs and driving down greenhouse gas emissions. Comparing 2013 to 2010, the building is showing a 30% savings in annual electric use and a 63% savings in steam energy use.

The overall energy use intensity has dropped 40% from the start of the rehabilitation to the end of 2013. In addition, the project reduced the greenhouse gas emissions by over 40% last year and is on target to realize another reduction of 40% by 2015.

The Jackson Federal Building was honored at the 2014 Design-Build Industry Conference and Expo, which highlights integrated project management.