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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
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The Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB) in downtown Harrisburg, PA is a 16-story state-owned office building whose tenants consist of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's "greenest" agencies?employees from the Department of General Services (DGS), Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Environmental Hearing Board, among others. The building, named after Pennsylvania native Rachel Carson, who helped establish the environmental movement with her 1962 book, Silent Spring, was constructed in 1992 and is owned and managed by DGS. Recognizing the potential to improve RCSOB's energy and financial performance, DGS looked to its Bureau of Facilities, Energy Management Office to initiate a Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) project to achieve superior energy performance.

After a review of potential energy, emissions, and operational savings, the DGS Energy Management Office decided to combine the RCSOB and the Governors Residence into a single GESA project. Initial project costs were paid by the project's anticipated savings, which were guaranteed by the energy service company (ESCO) through performance contracting and thereby remaining budget neutral. By using the GESA program to make the facilities more energy efficient, the financed project cost was $8.2 million, with a guaranteed savings of $10.4 million.

Initially, the DGS Energy Management Office benchmarked the facilities' operational and utility usage information, establishing fiscal year 2004-2005 as the baseline year for RCSOB. Based on an investment grade audit, a number of energy conservation measures were implemented to realize the most cost savings, including:

?         Completing a whole-building lighting retrofit, including replacing existing older magnetic ballasts using T-12 lamps with new electronic ballasts using compact fluorescent lamps.

?         Making improvements to the Energy Management System including installing new local and web-enabled applications and a load-shedding system.

?         Installing new supplemental hot water boilers along with new pumps and specialties.

?         Installing new chiller control panels and variable frequency drives.

?         Installing water-conserving toilet and urinal flush valves, and new water closets and showerheads.

?         Making improvements to the building envelope include insulation, sealants, and energy-control window film.


During the initial benchmarking year, RCSOB began with a baseline energy performance rating of 50 in Portfolio Manager. At the end of calendar year 2008, RCSOB had achieved a score of 87 with half the year still in the GESA construction phase.

DGS is also reaching out to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees and tenants in a concerted effort to spread the word that energy efficiency and conservation are good for the bottom line, as well as good for the environment. In addition to educating building managers, the DGS Energy Management Office holds a bi-annual Energy Expo at the nearby Keystone Building in downtown, Harrisburg.






Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Pennsylvania Department of General Services or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Service Provider:

Building Owner:*
Pennsylvania Department of General Services

Property Manager:*
Pennsylvania Department of General Services

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2008 (87)
2009 (88)

Facility Type: Office

Total Floorspace: 402996 sf

Year Constructed: 1992

Contract Type: Performance Contract
Financing Type: Tax Exempt Equipment Lease

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant
   Other Technologies/Strategies