Leveraging Direct Digital Controls to Maximize Energy Efficiency

General Services Administration (GSA) – National Deep Energy Retrofit ESPC Program

In December 2011, President Obama directed federal agencies to enter into at least $2 billion in performance-based contracts over the next two years to achieve substantial energy savings and to create jobs. The U.S. General Services Administration has undertaken the challenge to achieve deep energy savings for 30 of its federal buildings across the country, totaling nearly 17 million square feet. The objective of the Deep Energy Retrofit Challenge is to make these buildings more energy efficient through the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC).


In April 2013, CQS partnered with Ameresco, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy service company (ESCO), to provide quality control/quality assurance for the design and installation of  Direct Digital Controls (DDC) which will result in GSA receiving a combined 60% energy reduction for two of its federal buildings (New Carrollton Federal Building and Silver Spring Metro Center 1) that are a part of the Deep Energy Retrofit ESPC Program within the GSA’s National Capital Region outside of Washington, D.C.

Both buildings will be modernized with the installation of 11,000 individually addressable LED lighting fixtures controlled by a network of sensors. Over 2,000 sensors will be installed in the two buildings. Capable of sensing occupancy and ambient light, the system will automatically adjust light output to match current conditions. The new lighting control systems will integrate into existing and new Direct Digital Controls systems allowing the HVAC systems to heat and cool only occupied spaces. Once completed, the project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20,000 metric tons annually.

In addition, CQS worked closely with GSA OCIO and GSA’s Smart Building representative (Intelligent Buildings) to make sure both buildings adhered to all GSA Smart Building Requirements for implementing a BAS. This included designing and installing a network architecture as well as remediating and scanning all IP-enabled hardware that connected to the GSA network that minimizes the risk for security breaches of the GSA network.