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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New courthouse in Los Angeles rising quickly
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Brad McDermott/Clark Construction Company
Two blocks from the Walt Disney Concert Hall and two blocks from the Los Angeles City Hall, the new United States Courthouse is on the rise. Steel erection has been completed through the top to-be occupied tenth floor with the penthouse and roof levels going up in February. The 633,000-square-foot facility will contain 24 courtrooms and 32 judges’ chambers. Work is underway to mock up the first courtroom for the judges and GSA to review before their construction proceeds. The building is designed to achieve LEED® Platinum certification with sustainable features such as a serrated facade that maximizes views yet also reduces solar heat gain by nearly 50 percent. When the federal facility is completed in 2016, it will anchor new development in the neighborhood that includes a rail connector station and streetcar system.
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."
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Mariposa LPOE awarded LEED Gold
The newly completed Mariposa Land Port of Entry has been awarded LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Buildings Council. The $187 million modernization and expansion of one of the nation’s busiest land ports achieved the certification for its use of energy-efficient technologies, including solar-powered domestic hot water, advanced lighting and building automation systems, and a rainwater harvesting system, as well as recycled content material selections and low-maintenance finishes that are used throughout the port's design. These improvements are targeted to reduce the port’s energy usage by over 35%. The Mariposa LPOE serves as the main port of entry for fresh produce entering the United States from Mexico and the primary produce distribution point on the southern border.
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.
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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