GSA Selects 6 Innovative Building Technologies in Push To Net-Zero Carbon

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Electric vehicle charging technology is among the selections.

The General Services Administration’s Green Proving Ground program  Monday announced it has selected six innovative building technologies it will evaluate for potential use across the agency’s massive real estate portfolio.

The emerging technologies, selected in collaboration with the Energy Department, for the first time include electric vehicle charging technology—a major step toward the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to electrify a federal vehicle fleet of more than 450,000 vehicles.

“By using GSA-controlled facilities as a proving ground for innovative clean energy technologies, we can help spur new industries in areas such as energy-saving windows, smart pumps, microgrids and more,” GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said in a statement. “This demonstrates how our facilities can serve as a catalyst for American innovation that can create good-paying, clean energy jobs, save money for taxpayers and leave our kids a healthier planet.”

The technologies were chosen following a GSA-issued request for information regarding net-zero carbon buildings. The evaluations will include validation of technical and operational characteristics of the technologies and determination of their potential for future deployment. GSA’s Green Proving Grounds Program makes use of GSA’s real estate portfolio—which includes more than 9,600 buildings nationwide—to evaluate emerging building technologies in real-world settings.

According to GSA, the six selected technologies and developers are:  

  • EV Charge Management, WeaveGrid (San Francisco, CA) — The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to electrifying the 450,000 vehicles in the federal fleet. This EV charge management solution supports that goal by integrating embedded vehicle telematics with utility signals to optimize charging based on vehicle use, utility rates, and the carbon content of delivered power.
  • Bi-directional EV Charging, Fermata Energy (Charlottesville, VA) — Bi-directional EV charging can be used to stabilize the grid by strategically using EVs to either power local building loads or send energy back to the grid. This vehicle-to-everything technology is expected to turn EVs into energy storage assets, increasing resilience and lowering the cost of EV ownership.
  • C02-Based Heat Pump, Dalrada (Escondido, CA) — Decarbonizing heating is key to achieving Net-Zero. This combustion-free heat pump promises to increase heating and cooling efficiency by capturing and reusing thermal energy while reducing global warming potential. Using carbon dioxide as the refrigerant, this heat pump can deliver cooling down to -22°F and heating up to 250°F.
  • Solar PV Tracking, Rocking Solar (Monroe, OH) — According to DOE, commercial buildings consume 35% of the electricity in the U.S. This single-axis solar tracker promises to increase commercial rooftop solar photovoltaic production by adapting a proven utility tracking technology with a new low-profile rocker design that reduces friction, motor size and the cost of sun-tracking.
  • Non-Metalized Window Film, 3M (St. Paul, MN) and NGS (Atlanta, GA) — Windows are the weakest energy-efficiency link in the building envelope, but replacing them can be cost-prohibitive. This non-metalized window film promises to increase window thermal performance with increased durability, reduced reflectivity and no cell signal interference. The exterior version is expected to effectively block heat transmission, making it an efficient option even on coated or dual-pane tinted glass. The interior version incorporates additional technology that meets current GSA standards for blast resistance. 
  • Additive that Increases Heat Transfer, Endo Enterprises/Pace49 (Bellingham, WA) — Closed-loop heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems rely on water to transfer heat energy throughout a building. This hydronic additive promises to improve the heat transfer properties of water to reduce energy use in closed-loop HVAC systems.