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Federal courthouses, office buildings, and other facilities represent the American government’s presence in communities across the nation. Not only do these buildings facilitate important federal missions, but they also can demonstrate clearly how the federal government contributes to improving the quality of life in local communities. These contributions include the creation of public spaces and plazas; the preservation of historic buildings and national landmarks; the commitment to improve environmental quality and energy conservation efforts; and, the potential to spark economic revitalization of our urban centers and business districts in both cities and towns.
Critical decisions made at the very beginning of every capital development project have major consequences for the overall success of the project. The site selection decision has a dramatic impact on almost every facet of the design and construction process. The site affects the organization; massing; functionality; sustainability; operational and economic efficiency; security; and last, but certainly not least, the aesthetic qualities of the building.
The site selection is a “life cycle" decision that recognizes the balance among the initial cost of the real estate, the overall cost of executing the project, and the cost of operating the facility. It also recognizes the benefit (or cost) to the local community and the environment. While the initial cost may be a significant driver, all factors must be considered in order to make the right decision.
In this Guide, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) posits a site selection framework to assist the Project Team on the road to success. It addresses issues of both process and principle and is an extension of our quest to ensure that federal buildings are inviting, productive, efficient and safe places to conduct government business. We hope that this Guide can support GSA, our customer agencies, and our consultants in maintaining our legacy of quality public buildings.
F. Joseph Moravec
Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service
U.S. General Services Administration
The shortcut to this page is www.gsa.gov/siteselection.