The U.S. General Services Administration awarded a contract to IBM to develop and install advanced smart building technology in 50 of the federal government’s highest energy-consuming buildings.

Part of GSA’s larger smart building strategy, this initiative will connect building management systems to a central cloud based platform, improving efficiency and saving up to $15 million in taxpayer dollars annually. Commercial buildings account for nearly 40% of the United State’s primary energy use and GSA owns nearly 182 MSF of office space nationwide.

Increasing building efficiency will help agencies meet President Obama’s goal under Executive Order 13514 to reduce energy consumption in federal buildings by 30% by 2015.

“In line with GSA’s core responsibility of delivering savings to government agencies, this initiative brings together leaders in the building technology industry to install low-cost, high-value, networked technologies in some of the government’s most energy intensive buildings,” GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini said. “The installation of this new smart buildings technology will give employees and building managers a new window into building operations and launch a whole new chapter in efficient, cost-effective building management strategies while delivering important savings to the taxpayer.”

Under the terms of the contract, IBM will develop a system to monitor building performance nationwide and stream data to a central facility, allowing faster analysis and more informed decision-making. This project uses innovative building management technology, linking major building controls in real-time to make federal buildings more energy efficient. When fully implemented, GSA will use newly available data and analytics to save energy and reduce building operating costs in GSA’s entire owned inventory.

“The development of this industry-leading smart building system begins a new era in how GSA manages our nation’s public buildings and will prove the feasibility of this technology for the larger industry,” said GSA Acting Public Buildings Commissioner Linda Chero. “This program connects existing building technologies in new ways to improve building efficiency in over 32 million square feet of real estate.  Awarding this contract benefits taxpayers, as it will reduce maintenance and operating costs of the federal building portfolio — saving taxpayers an estimated $15 million annually.”

When the system is fully integrated, tenants will be able to view the performance of their buildings on dashboards with real time metrics on energy savings and recommendations on how to further increase efficiencies. In the first year, 50 buildings will be integrated on this building management system. As additional federal buildings are constructed and other facilities are upgraded, those buildings will also be managed with this platform. The new technology will give property managers real time information and diagnostic tools to keep buildings performing at peak efficiency, increasing cost savings across the federal building portfolio.

For additional information on GSA’s smart building efforts visit: