The U.S. General Services Administration has announced plans to spend $975 million in Climate Act funds on environmental and energy-efficiency upgrades at more than 100 facilities in its extensive portfolio of federal buildings.

In announcing the program on June 20, GSA said the improvements include bringing 28 federal buildings up to the net-zero emissions level and converting 100 buildings to be all-electric.

Among the 100 buildings targeted for all-electric status is the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., which is to receive $13.5 million of the funds from the Climate Act. The formal name of the measure, signed last August, is the Inflation Reduction Act.

The 3.1-million-sq-ft building is the second-largest government building in the U.S. and occupies a prominent location on Pennsylvania Avenue between the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

Speaking at a June 20 event at the building, GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said that the agency expects to use the $975 million to spark an additional $1.9 billion from the private sector and other public agencies. 

That financial leveraging would come from energy-saving performance contracts and utility energy savings contracts, as well as spending on building retrofits and expanded building technology programs. 

Carnahan said that at the Reagan building, the $13.5-million in federal Climate Act funds would support more than $90 million in nonfederal investment. 

She said the improvements to the facility include installing 57,000 LED light bulbs, adding more than 500 high-efficiency transformers and installing a reverse-osmosis groundwater recovery system.

Taken together, the upgrades to the Reagan building will reduce energy usage by 40%, cut carbon emissions by 16,000 tons and reduce water use by 35 million gallons annually. Total cost savings there are estimated at $6 million per year, according to Carnahan.

GSA did not disclose the other facilities that would receive Climate Act funds. A spokesperson for the agency said, "In coming months, GSA will announce additional projects that will be part of this historic investment."

GSA Ahead of Emissions Cut Goal

Carnahan said that overall, GSA has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than half, achieving that mark "a decade ahead of schedule."

When the envisioned new projects are complete, that would make about 130 million sq ft, or two-thirds of GSA's total real estate portfolio, sustainable, she said.

As GSA proceeds with its green building program, it has support from industry.

Lakisha Ann Woods, American Institute of Architects executive vice president and chief executive officer, said in an emailed statement, "We believe government should serve as a role model of environmental stewardship and this is an excellent opportunity to do so through design excellence."