Region 9 Newsroom
We reach citizens and consumers, businesses, and government customers in the four states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada, as well as overseas in American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Diego Garcia, Guam, mainland Japan and Okinawa, the Republic of Korea, Saipan, and Singapore.
Our Public Affairs Office for the Pacific Rim, located in San Francisco, issues media releases and advisories to provide important information on regional GSA activities, events, and projects that impact and serve these audiences.
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Comfy app pilot extended in Phoenix federal building
Tenants of the federal building in Phoenix have been testing the use of an app called Comfy that enables people to adjust the temperature in their office space. Comfy plugs into existing hardware and allows workers on command to instantly stream warm or cold air into a particular office zone, such as a conference or training room, using a web browser or smartphone. The app “learns” and automatically delivers temperature preferences to the programmed zones based on tenant votes. Results of an eight-month pilot that wrapped up in November 2014 showed a significant reduction in electricity usage yielding a six percent cost saving compared with the same period in 2013; Comfy reduced cooling and heating where and when it was not being used or wanted, and it lessened the need for tenants’ use of personal heaters and fans. Tenants reported an 80 percent satisfaction rate with the app. GSA is working on a project plan to extend the pilot for another year.
GSA employees tour one of the nation's largest net zero facilities
Employees from GSA’s Pacific Rim Region and sustainability professionals from the State of California’s Department of General Services recently toured one of the largest net zero facilities in the nation. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) East Campus Operations Center is a model of sustainability, generating all of the energy needed to run the facility on-site. The 51-acre campus, completed in 2013, features vast solar and thermal arrays. It was awarded a LEED® Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Buildings Council for its integrated design, advanced heating and cooling systems, and substantial energy and water saving features.
Executive Order 13514 requires all new federal facilities to be net zero by 2030. This tour provided GSA employees an opportunity to see firsthand a building that has already met the 2030 energy reduction goals GSA is trying to achieve in its own buildings. By touring facilities like the SMUD campus, GSA can explore advanced technologies that can be incorporated in future projects to help meet the Administration’s sustainability goals.
“This tour enabled discussions that allowed us to begin envisioning our own 2030 ‘playbook’ for energy reduction,” commented Sustainability Project Manager Adam Salvadalena. "SMUD’s novel design features were certainly one point of interest, but the integrated design process is probably more important. The design-build project had an equivalent cost to an identically sized building nearby, was constructed in only 24 months, and has been well received by tenants. GSA already has the design-build authority, and can leverage a similar approach to begin our own net zero efforts today."
50 UNP named Award of Merit recipient in ENR 2014 Best Projects competition
When Engineering News-Record California announced their 2014 Best Projects winners for Northern California and Hawaii last month, the recently renovated 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco's Civic Center made the list as the Award of Merit recipient under the Office/Retail/Mixed-use category. The number of entries jumped by 40 percent from the previous year. The 350,000 square-foot LEED® Platinum renovation symbolizes GSA's approach to saving historic structures while achieving high-performance green retrofits. Improved working conditions for employees was a high priority for this complex revival of a Great Depression era landmark, and it is now the home of the agency's Pacific Rim Region headquarters. ENR California provides authoritative news and information about people and projects in the state's construction industry. Parent ENR publishes annual Top Lists and Best Projects to help bring structure to the huge global industry.
Commissioner tours Mariposa port of entry
Public Buildings Service Commissioner Norm Dong and Acting Regional Commissioner Dan Brown visited the agency's field offices in Phoenix and Tucson recently. During his two-day visit, Commissioner Dong toured the newly modernized and expanded Mariposa Land Port of Entry with Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez. He saw first-hand how GSA’s project helped improve efficiency, security and safety for officers and the traveling public. The Mariposa LPOE serves as the main port of entry for fresh produce entering the United States from Mexico and is the primary produce distribution point on the southern border.
California Assembly Speaker tours busiest land border crossing in Western Hemisphere
California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, San Diego County Supervisor Gregory Cox, Imperial Beach Mayor James Janney, and other local representatives toured the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) on September 2, 2014 to review ongoing improvements GSA is making at the port to modernize and expand primary inspection lanes and the secondary vehicle inspection area, as well as the recently completed headhouse.
During the tour, the Speaker acknowledged the importance of the San Ysidro LPOE as a key economic engine for the binational region and recognized the huge infrastructure investment to support trade and residents living on both sides of the border. Speaker Atkins was particularly impressed with the small business achievements of the construction project: More than 55 percent of the project has supported local small businesses so far, including almost 9 percent women-owned businesses and 12 percent veteran-owned.
The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry is a major gateway between the United States and Mexico, serving the border crossings of more than 50,000 northbound vehicles and 25,000 pedestrian each day. The next phase of the project, which includes the realignment of Interstate 5 South, has received full funding.
Regional Administrator Cox presents at NALEO Conference
On June 26, 2014, Regional Administrator Ruth Cox gave a presentation about GSA’s Land Ports of Entry (LPOE) program to a packed conference room at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Conference in San Diego. The breakout session was entitled “U.S. and Mexico Bi-National Issues: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities Together” and featured other panel experts including the Mexican Consul General for San Diego, Remedios Gomez Arnau, and former California State Senator, Denise Moreno Ducheny.
With 44 border stations along the U.S. - Mexico border and over $500 billion in annual trade, Mexico is the second largest market for U.S. exports. In her presentation, Ms. Cox explained the importance of LPOEs and the critical role they play in the U.S. economy as gateways of commerce, culture and people. “The United States and Mexico share more than just a physical border. Our land ports of entry play a vital role in not only the security of our nation but also in facilitating economic trade and prosperity, cultural exchange, and connecting families and binational communities,” said Cox. She highlighted the significant amount of binational coordination required to expand and improve infrastructure at our nation’s borders.
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