Regional Operations Center: Building the Government of Tomorrow
Buildings are one of the most significant contributors to worldwide energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). As GSA builds tomorrow's government, we remain committed to reducing utility costs and protecting the environment. Building performance evaluation is an essential practice to steward sustainability effectively. Post-occupancy building performance analysis is critical to operating and maintaining energy-efficient buildings.
Levron Schuchalter, Deputy Director, and Lee Turner, Supervisory Smart Buildings Operations Specialist, of the National Capital Region (NCR), Office of Facilities Management (OFM), Facilities Management and Services Programs Division, set out to find a way to make it easier to achieve this goal.
The initiative began in 2015 with a challenge from NCR’s Regional Commissioner to leverage new and emerging technologies to enhance the way that NCR managed its operations. However, Schuchalter and Turner took that early initiative and expanded, built, and enhanced it. Over time, their innovative approach resulted in the Regional Operations Center (ROC).
The ROC is both a virtual platform and a physical location, where data from building systems region-wide can be viewed and controlled via a secure, web-based portal. The ROC is a non-proprietary, GSA-owned solution which can be scaled to integrate additional buildings and incorporate new technologies.
NCR currently has over 14M square feet across 14 sites combined into the ROC and is actively pursuing the integration of additional facilities. The ROC utilizes four barometers of facility health to provide detailed information on the performance of the integrated sites across energy demand, comfort, HVAC scheduling, and critical system alarm indicators. The customizable view allows regional leadership to view and assess status at a portfolio level. Additionally, detailed building views allow the building teams to look at the performance of individual systems, equipment, and building features.
“This integration has enhanced the operation of our systems, reduced energy utilization, improved customer interactions, and is being used to inform future workforce allocation decisions. The ROC is a cornerstone of NCR's approach to the future of facilities management,” said Schuchalter.
"We wanted not only to change our technology, but we also wanted to modernize our business processes as well. We implemented a lot of innovative and creative solutions to some age-old problems. We partnered with our service centers, BMOs, and contractors, took a holistic approach, and built everything from the ground up instead of enhancing old, antiquated systems."
As a result of their hard work and dedication to this initiative, Schuchalter and Turner won a 2022 Facilities Management Award from the National Facilities Management Organization for National Excellence in Innovation.
Turner shared, "Our success lies in our commitment to ensuring our customers can achieve their mission as efficiently as possible. To be proper stewards of the environment and taxpayer dollars, we must monitor the efficiency of our buildings' performance. Our success is putting our customers in a place where they can be successful."