Smart Buildings

The Challenge

The General Services Administration (GSA) National Capital Region (NCR) is implementing strategic initiatives to transform and modernize their facilities management across hundreds of federally owned and leased buildings in their real estate portfolio. These efforts are driven by policy mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the federal real estate footprint, improve tenant satisfaction, and build twenty-first-century technology infrastructure into Federal buildings. Having the courage to adopt innovative solutions comes with some challenges. For starters, the variety of disparate building control systems across GSA’s portfolio creates an initial barrier to the integration of these systems into a systemic real-time analytics infrastructure. These roadblocks prevent simple information about asset performance from being accessed by stakeholders that are responsible for the efficient operation of these facilities. Because these disparate systems were designed by multiple vendors, using proprietary communications protocols, they are unable to communicate directly.

The Solution

Embracing new technologies to provide stakeholders with access to consistent and reliable real-time building performance information is one way The Building People is helping GSA to achieve its goals. We are working with GSA to develop a secure, unified web-based user interface that pulls back the curtain to give facility stakeholders visibility into building performance with predictive analytics that empowers their strategic decisions around tenant management, energy efficiency, space utilization, and asset performance. This initial phase of the ROC’s first 20 buildings utilizes advanced analytics that allows GSA staff to monitor energy demand, HVAC scheduling, building automation system alarms, security, and temperature comfort measures. These metrics directly impact the agency’s key performance indicators and give them more control to deliver on their mission. The ROC is both a technology and process solution, providing GSA management, staff, and tenants, with real-time intelligence that equips them to make operational decisions that increase building performance, tenant awareness on their impact on the environment, and increased tenant satisfaction in these facilities. When operated at their maximum potential, these smart systems can save as much as $.50 per square foot in annual operating costs.

Key Takeaways

The Building People's solution for the GSA National Capital Region has become the Regional Operations Center (ROC) and serves as a model for other Federal agencies to follow.
Integration included the building automation systems (BAS), advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), occupancy and physical access security (PACS), and lighting control systems.
First time all these systems were integrated into a single interface, not only across one facility, but across 20 buildings totaling more than 14,000,000+ gross square feet.

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