GSA seeks air, energy fixes for fed buildings

The federal government’s workplace management agency—the General Services Administration—has announced it is seeking to hear from vendors who can design, build and retrofit workspaces to improve energy efficiency and cleaner indoor air.

Saving energy and ensuring air is well-scrubbed and safe at federal facilities are projects already popular with feds—and the wider population who use their services—in our time of intensifying climate change and the now-proven airborne pathogen COVID-19.

The GSA’s official “Request for Information” seeks to “obtain responses from vendors and other interested parties on resource efficient technologies that improve commercial building health and resilience,” as the document, published this week, states.

GSA’s RFI could lead to moves that cover a lot of ground. Implementing ways to save energy at large facilities is highlighted in federal government guidance and public advisories, both to save money and reduce pollution. These, in turn, can help to reduce “human activity” greenhouse gases—especially those created by burning fossil fuels for electricity—and could help curb climate change. With respect to indoor air quality, the new RFI could help agencies apply Centers for Disease Control guidance regarding office buildings and COVID-19, which recommends optimizing HVAC systems and increasing the use of outdoor air where practicable. 

The RFI also asks vendors to chime in with proposals to “extend passive survivability and support continuity of operations during grid disruptions”—in other words, the government wants help hardening buildings to blackouts and brownouts with backup electrical supplies. The RFI mentions photovoltaics--seeking to improve onsite solar power systems to fulfill this need.

GSA manages some 370 million square feet of space affecting 1.1 million workers—and of course contractors, the public and all comers who visit and use these government facilities.



Reader comments

Tue, Oct 20, 2020

So when we had Hank fart his ass off everyday after eating 5 dollar dumplings in Chinatown, comeback after lunch and blow us away. The air quality wasn't an issue then ? Really ? the man was a Federal employee without a care. Sleeping at his desk, farting smelly disgusting farts, rude to everyone and yet still he held his job, retired early and is the perfect example of the failures of Federal service. Bravo US Government, you rule the employment hemisphere.

Tue, Oct 13, 2020 Terry Morgan Omaha, NE

Looking forward to see what the industry professionals have say. The FOB in Omaha was designed with a great system utilizing two sets of filters MERV 8 and 13 and UV lights. Our IAQ issues are caused by the tenants through perfumes, oils and personal plants.

Fri, Oct 9, 2020 sam

Need to get going on this! Indoor air no good even before COVID in many buildings. But with COVID, it can be deadly.

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