Could our buildings one day become even more connected? Advanced technology allows building owners and operators to improve operation and reduce energy throughout facilities. Now, the technologies are government approved, so to speak.

Last week, the U.S. GSA (General Services Admin.), www.gsa.gov, Washington, D.C., announced two new reports that show energy-efficient technologies have significant savings potential if widely implemented. The GSA works with the Dept. of Energy’s,www.energy.gov, Washington, D.C., National Laboratories to test the energy-efficient technologies.

The first study, the Responsive Lighting study, was conducted in five federal buildings, and the results show energy savings ranged from 27-63% compared to traditional conditions in buildings.

The second study, the Plug Load Control study, tested advanced power strips in eight GSA buildings. These strips save energy by controlling plug-in devices according to a schedule or based on a given device crossing a certain threshold. The plug loads were reduced by 26% near workstations and by approximately 50% in kitchens and printer rooms.

Based on the results and as part of the Green Proving Ground program, technologies are then selected for their potential to help reduce operating costs and meet sustainability goals.

Going forward, the GSA plans to test 12 additional emerging building technologies in federal facilities, which include, but are not limited to, wireless lighting controls, wireless thermostats, and water-saving landscape irrigation systems. With the results from the studies, the GSA will be able to reduce operational costs, increase environmental efficiency, and provide a benchmark for the industry to implement new technologies in buildings going forward.

As the GSA identifies the best energy-efficient technologies for use in federal facilities, the rest of the industry can follow suit, implementing the right energy-saving tech into office buildings, grocery stores, homes, and more.