Ameresco Initiates Energy Savings Performance Contract for U.S. General Services Administration

Ameresco, Inc. announced that project construction of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)’s $45 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) is underway. The ESPC will serve two federal buildings within the GSA’s National Capital Region outside of Washington, D.C.

In 2012, the GSA competitively challenged Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to innovatively improve the energy performance of 30 GSA-owned buildings through ESPCs aimed for maximum energy savings. The GSA selected Amerescoto develop a comprehensive ESPC addressing over one million square feet of office space at the New Carrollton Federal Building in Lanham, Maryland and the Silver Spring Metro Center 1 building in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“The innovative techniques and comprehensive efficiency and renewable energy technologies included in this deep retrofit project make it a proving ground for innovation,” said Nicole Bulgarino, Vice President, Federal Solutions, Ameresco. “The Challenge initiative sets a great example by the Federal Government for others to follow suit in realizing greater efficiencies, reducing emissions, and doing significantly more with less through an ESPC.”

Ameresco is installing comprehensive energy conservation measures to reduce total energy consumption of the two federal buildings by 60 percent, which exceeds GSA’s established energy and water conservation goals for the Challenge. Approximately one megawatt equivalent of on-site renewable energy using solar and geothermal technologies at the New Carrollton Federal Building will be installed, and as a result the ESPC greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced by 20,000 metric tons annually. The ESPC measures are designed to reduce overall water consumption in the two buildings by over 17 million gallons a year.

Savings in the first year are expected to be over $2.8 million.

Both buildings will be modernized with the installation of 11,000 individually addressable LED lighting fixtures controlled by a network of sensors. Over 2,000 sensors will be installed in the two buildings. Capable of sensing occupancy and ambient light, the system will automatically adjust light output to match current conditions. The new lighting control systems will integrate into existing and new DDC control systems allowing the HVAC systems to heat and cool only occupied spaces.

The new central chilled water plant will consist of two new high efficiency chillers and one new chiller-heater. Similar to a heat pump, the chiller-heater will be used to generate hot water for space heating as well as domestic hot water. The new design incorporates a geothermal well field for heat rejection, increasing the chillers’ efficiency, while decreasing water consumption.

At the New Carrollton Federal Building, Ameresco will construct an 808kW solar canopy to cover all unshaded areas of its north parking lot. The solar array is a custom designed structural system in an amphitheater themed layout. It will provide shade to parked vehicles and will be surrounded by new rain gardens to support existing storm water catch basins. Ameresco will install a 67kW carport structure in the south parking lot facing the New Carrollton Metro Stop. A new solar thermal heating system will also be installed on the building’s roof.

This deep retrofit project supports the GSA in meeting its commitment towards the President’s Better Building Challenge which directed federal agencies in 2011 to leverage $2 billion worth of performance-based contracts for energy savings at no upfront cost to taxpayers.

Project construction commenced this month and both buildings will continue to be fully occupied during the construction period.

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