GSA's Gulfport Courthouse—A New Construction Super ESPC

February 1, 2002


Architect's rendering of the Gulfport Courthouse

The Gulfport Courthouse design employs high-performance, energy-saving features.

On September 28, 2001, the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded a Super Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) for new construction at the new Federal Courthouse in Gulfport, Mississippi. The construction of the $30 million, 204,000-square-foot Gulfport U.S. Courthouse is expected to take place over a 27-month period. Sempra Energy Solutions will contribute $1.6�million in energy conservation improvements to the building.

In contrast to using alternative financing to retrofit or modify an existing building, the capital created from a new-construction Super ESPC is essentially capital added to the building construction budget. As with many other GSA courthouse construction projects, the construction budget is lean. "Because energy performance features of a new building are often some of the first to go under a tight construction budget, a new-construction Super ESPC can play an important role in ensuring a high-performance building," said Terry Sharp, Super ESPC project facilitator from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A collaborative process involving GSA, the courthouse design team, DOE's national laboratories, and Sempra was used to identify building efficiency improvements and achieve the final design. The early involvement of the energy service company in design reviews was a practical way to bring the project together.

The goal of the new-construction project is to limit energy-related costs in the Gulfport Courthouse and use the generated savings to ensure a high-performance building for GSA and its customers. The Super ESPC will fund improvements in the building's glazing, lighting, heating and cooling, pumping, and air handling systems. The Super ESPC will upgrade the two 300-ton chillers that were originally planned for the building. The new construction project will produce $84,000 annually in energy cost savings and $78,000 in operations and maintenance (O&M) savings with a total savings of $8.6 million over the project term (17 years).

Sempra will be taking on the O&M responsibilities for the building over the contract term. O&M savings add significantly to the overall savings of the project. Gulfport is an area where GSA has traditionally had difficulty procuring O&M services at reasonable prices.

"New-construction ESPCs help agencies get high-performance buildings from the start," said Sharp. "The experience from the Gulfport project will benefit other Federal facilities looking to new construction Super ESPCs."

The Gulfport Courthouse project is the fifth Super ESPC for the GSA's Southeast Sunbelt Region.

For more information, please contact Terry Sharp of ORNL at 865-574-3559 or sharptr@ornl.gov.