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SAN FRANCISCO-More than $350 million will be spent on “High Performance Green Building Modernizations” for 50 United Nations Plaza here, the Edith Green Federal Building in Portland, OR and two buildings in Seattle as part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act Spending Plan. The money is coming out of the $5.5 billion the General Services Administration received to help stimulate the economy.

The GSA’s Federal Building Fund includes $3.1 billion for full or partial green building modernization projects nationwide, and an additional $1.2 billion for green building improvements with a more limited scope. The projects are said to have been selected based on two over-arching criteria: the ability of the project to put people back to work quickly (within 120 days) and create a high-performance green building. In all cases the full or partial modernizations will include high-efficiency HVAC and plumbing systems with advanced metering. Buildings on the list with “seriously deteriorated roofs” will be replaced with integrated photovoltaic roof membrane, a green roof or a cool roof membrane depending on the type of roof and its geographic location.

San Francisco’s historic 50 United Nations Plaza, vacant since 2007 and previously slated to become apartments, will receive $121 million upgrade and then house the GSA’s regional operations, which includes Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii in addition to California. In addition to the high-efficiency HVAC and plumbing systems the modernization will include seismic and ADA retrofits, new windows, improved elevators and the abatement of any hazardous materials. The interior spaces also will be reconfigured for efficiency. The GSA issued a request for proposals earlier this month for an architect and engineer to head up the renovation. The deadline for proposals is Monday, April 27.

The D-shaped Beaux Arts building was designed by Arthur Brown Jr., the architect of City Hall and two of the five other Civic Center landmarks. Completed in 1936, the six-story building contains 350,000 gross square feet and 217,000 rentable square feet, with a 24,000-square-foot interior courtyard. Forest City was working on plans to convert the building into a 200-unit apartment complex but ultimately nixed the idea in fall 2007.

In Portland, the 18-story Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, completed in 1975, will see $133 million in upgrades, the most expensive GSA project on the West Coast and the third most expensive overall. GSA’s Northwest spokesperson Ross Buffington tells GlobeSt.com while specifics are still being hammered out the result will be “a complete modernization of the entire building.”

For Seattle, a little over $100 million has been allocated for two partial green-building modernization projects. The Federal Center South complex will see $64.3 million in upgrades while the 37-story, 700,000-square-foot Jackson Federal Building will see $42.3 million in improvements.

At Federal Center South, which includes buildings originally built in the 1930s as part of a Ford Motor Co. assembly plant, Buffington tells GlobeSt.com the main goal will be to convert one of the warehouses into high-efficiency, secure office space for the Army Corps. Of Engineers, the primary tenant in the existing administrative building at the center. Work at the Jackson Federal Building is still being decided on but will definitely include higher-efficiency mechanicals.

The largest High Performance Green Building project is also in the West. The Byron G. Rogers Federal Building in Denver will receive $167 million for its greening, though no specifics were immediately available. All told, Colorado would receive $276.5 million for full and partial building modernization and $55.4 million for limited scope upgrades. The second largest project is a $146.1-million modernization of the Peter Rodino Federal Building in Newark.

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