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The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Federal Research Center at White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a state-of-the-art 3.9 million square foot office and lab campus owned by the General Services Administration. FDA completed a multiphase $280 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC) project with Honeywell with original award of the task order in 2010. As a result, the White Oak Campus is now comprised of five groups of interconnected buildings with shared utility infrastructure that are not only energy efficient but also secure, resilient, and capable of expanding to meet future needs.

Photo of Food and Drug Administration's White Oak Federal Research Center.
White Oak Campus' mission is to increase scientific synergy and collaboration, protect consumers from unsafe products, address threats before they arise, and to deliver safer foods and more effective medical therapies.

Project Highlights

Photo of equipmemt used in the FDA ESPC project.

Goals of the White Oak project included improving energy security and resilience on an expanding campus with changing needs. The ESPC installed an agile, multifuel, integrated 55 MW central utility plant micro-grid capable of operating the campus regardless of disruptions to the external utility grid.

White Oak has operated in island mode more than 80 times since construction was completed in 2014, significantly increasing resiliency and reliability to help the critical infrastructure remain online, avoiding interruption during extreme weather events and other natural disasters. The success of the project is also attributed to an integrated power reliability team that works together to provide continuous improvement to power reliability on campus.


Photo of equipmemt used in the FDA ESPC project.

Sources of ESPC project savings over the three project phases included combined heat and power plant installation, chiller improvements, utility demand management, photovoltaic installation, lighting improvements, building envelope modifications, and other building energy performance enhancements. Together these energy efficiency measures are expected to provide estimated annual savings and benefits of:

  • $52 million in avoided utility and operations and maintenance expenditures
  • 915,000 MMBtu
    • 98,000 tons carbon dioxide equivalent prevented
    • Equivalent to removing 18,900 cars from the road
  • 2,240 job-years created.


Submit a question on this project to the FEMP website contact.