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Brasseux Hails Cutting Edge FDA Building

As prepared for delivery.

Remarks by
Barney Brasseux
Deputy Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Food and Drug Administration Building Dedication
Silver Spring, Maryland
May 11, 2009

 

Look around you…isn’t this a magnificent building?

It’s days like this – when we get to dedicate a new building for one of our sister federal agencies – that the many months of hard work of hundreds of people within GSA and our project partners are finally recognized.

It’s days like this when we get a chance to step back and say, “Just look at what we accomplished as a team.”

It’s days like this when you just look around and say, “Wow…”

People often ask me, “What does GSA do?”  It’s days like this when I can point a finger and say, “This is what we do!”

Our mission is to help federal agencies better serve the American citizen by assisting in areas outside their expertise. 

We provide products at best value so other agencies don’t have to worry about scrambling to get them. 

We provide services so other agencies can concentrate on their core business, and not have to worry about negotiating the best price, or hiring architects, or getting permits

As we open the doors to the new home of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, affectionately called Building 66, it’s important to recognize that FDA will be doing cutting edge work inside. It’s only fitting that they have a cutting edge workspace in which to do it.

I think we’ve completely accomplished that mission, and more.  This building is beyond state-of-the-art.  It was built for today and tomorrow.  It is representative of GSA’s commitment to creating projects that endure.

And don’t let the red-orange brick façade fool you – this building is green!

Bobby Schall has already mentioned some of the building’s eco-friendly features that we believe will help the building qualify for LEED Gold Certification.  But let me emphasize that “green” is a way of life at GSA.

GSA has been a leader in green government since the 1970’s.  GSA has a long history of providing environmentally sound or sustainable products and services, reducing waste and pollution, and providing federal employees with healthy work environments.

GSA currently operates 27 owned and leased buildings certified under the LEED rating system.  That number is bound to go up markedly over the months and years to come, in part because of GSA’s activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The legislation provides GSA with $5.5 billion for building projects, including:

  • $750 million for the renovation and construction of federal buildings and courthouses;
  • $300 million for the renovation and construction of land ports of entry, and;
  • Perhaps most importantly, $4.5 billion to convert federal buildings to high performance green buildings.

A significant chunk of these projects will occur right here in the National Capital Region.

I would be proud if we can continue to deliver for our sister agencies facilities as magnificent as this one.

I don’t have time to thank all of the individuals who have put their hearts and souls into this project, but please know that your work is greatly appreciated.

I would, however, would like to thank the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services for continuing to entrust their building needs with GSA.  It has – and will continue to be – a great partnership.

Thank you.