The Case for Experimenting on Federal Buildings

GSA headquarters

GSA headquarters Wikimedia Commons

GSA’s proving-ground program will evaluate emerging green technologies.

The government wants to try out new and potentially “transformational” green technologies on its buildings through a program that could give private sector participants a leg up in the future.

The idea is to evaluate emerging green technologies and use the findings to “inform decision-making within GSA, other federal agencies and the real estate industry in deploying the technologies studied,” the General Services Administration said in a call for information.

Qualifying technologies must be “sufficiently mature that all required laboratory or other proof-of-concept work has been completed,” but not “already broadly in use and readily available in the marketplace,” the solicitation document said.

Technologies will be deemed successful if they improve the environmental performance of the government’s real estate holdings while lowering operating costs, the solicitation document said.

GSA’s Green Proving Ground Program supports a host of environmental real estate goals in President Barack Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan, his 2009 order to make the government a leader in environmental building and the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

GSA supports a workforce of more than 1.1 million feds and more than 9,000 federally owned or leased properties -- totaling 377.9 million square feet of workspace, according to the agency. GSA also manages some $60 billion of government purchases.

Companies interested in participating in the proving ground program should respond to the request for information -- no request for proposals will be issued -- with compelling justifications for their product and agree to donate the technology to GSA.

The agency will host information webcasts Sept. 30 and Oct. 30.