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GSA Greens the US Border, Opens LEED-Gold Border Station in Calais, Maine

Recovery Act-Funded Land Port of Entry is Model of Sustainable Design

GSA #10621

November 23, 2009
Contact: Paula Santangelo, (617) 565-5800
paula.samtangelo@gsa.gov

CALAIS, Maine – The U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened a new state-of-the-art, green land port of entry in Calais, Maine, partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Part of GSA’s high-performance green building program, the port was built to achieve LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for comprehensive use of sustainable design and technology. Recycled, reused, and locally-available materials were used during construction. The facility conserves energy by bringing natural light into every occupied space, and conserves water by using low-flow fixtures that consume 40 percent less water than traditional plumbing.

“Thanks to funding from the Recovery Act, we were able to make this building a national example of sustainable design and construction,” said GSA Chief Architect Les Shepherd. “The green technologies employed in this Recovery Act project created jobs in both traditional construction sectors and emerging green industries.”

National and state officials gathered today to unveil the new land port of entry, marking the completion of a $65 million construction project. Other speakers at the ceremony included David Jacobson, U.S. Ambassador to Canada; Sen. Susan Collins; Rep. Michael Michaud; Thomas Winkowski, Assistant Commissioner of Field Operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and David Cole, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation.

Located on a 50-acre site on the eastern border of Maine, the port was designed by Robert Siegel Architects of New York, and built by J&J Construction of Lowell, Mass. The facility is part of a larger infrastructure project that includes a new international bridge connecting the U.S. and Canada. The port is anticipated to become the eighth busiest international crossing on the northern border.

The new inspection facility provides for agency expansion space and alleviates traffic congestion from downtown Calais and Canada. It is equipped with state-of-the-art security equipment that allows for efficient secondary commercial vehicle inspection.  Occupants include the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection, Food and Drug Administration, and GSA.

GSA was appropriated $5.5 billion under the Recovery Act to convert federal buildings into high-performance green buildings, and build new energy-efficient federal buildings, courthouses, and land ports of entry. These projects will deliver lasting progress towards modernizing the nation’s infrastructure, reducing the Federal government’s consumption of energy and water, and increasing the use of clean and renewable sources of energy. 

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Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars and $30 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 213,000 vehicles.

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