Mission Critical Facility Renewal Program | Alliance to Save Energy

Mission Critical Facility Renewal Program

U.S. public buildings – hospitals, universities, schools, public venues, airports and others – are critical infrastructure that enable federal, state, and local governments to fulfill their missions. In the event of a public health crisis or natural disaster, public buildings can also deliver life-saving services and capacity for temporary healthcare, emergency shelter and other community relief operations. But as we have seen in the COVID-19 crisis, many of these facilities are in dire need of improvements to meet modern demands.

In response to the crisis and to stimulate the economic recovery, we propose that Congress appropriate $22 billion over five years to retrofit critical facilities. The federal funding – along with energy cost savings from efficiency improvements – would leverage private investment at a 4:1 ratio through Public-Private Partnerships (P3), performance contracting and performance-based services contracts, delivering a total of $110 billion in infrastructure improvements. Not only would this put people back to work – largely in construction, engineering and manufacturing – but it would better prepare us for disasters in the future.

The need for infrastructure improvement in public facilities is well documented. The projected $100 billion leveraged investment in this proposal is less than half of the $223 billion potential performance contracting activity estimated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

By combining federal funds with private investment and seizing on savings from improved energy and operational efficiency, building infrastructure can be renewed to improve health, safety and resiliency while providing the technology infrastructure and flexibility to respond to a variety of public health crises, natural disasters and other emergencies. 

Under this proposal, federal funding would flow through the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP), and there are several existing legislative authorizations through which the funding could be adopted. At least $2.5 billion of the funding will be directed to federal projects.

In addition to addressing over $1 trillion in deferred maintenance in public buildings, the guiding principle for infrastructure renewal should be to build back better, not to simply replace failed building systems and components, and make mission critical public buildings safe, efficient, resilient, and flexible.

Safe

Many public buildings have antiquated ventilation, drinking water systems, or emergency lighting installations that have not been properly maintained, which threatens public health and safety.

Efficient

Renewed facilities should be renovated to be as efficient as possible in their use of energy, water, and other natural resources, which lowers long-term operating and maintenance costs and enhances occupant health, wellness, and productivity.

Resilient

To maintain critical operations during public health and other emergencies, infrastructure improvements should focus on building structural, electrical, mechanical systems and technology which not only improves resilience but also improve safety and efficiency.

Flexible

Renewed facilities should be flexible enough quickly transform public buildings into a temporary healthcare facility or emergency shelters, with the ability to quickly add critical environmental systems and sufficient power and secure network to accommodate clinical and building systems.

Learn more about the Mission Critical Facility Renewal Program