Design and Construction, Green Building, Security, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Homeland Security Receives IRA Funding for Green Buildings on HQ Campus

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced $288 million in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding to construct sustainable buildings at the DHS St. Elizabeths headquarters campus in southeast Washington, D.C.

The announcement came a day after the one-year anniversary of the IRA, the largest climate investment in U.S. history. The projects will consolidate DHS operations and further the Biden administration’s Federal Sustainability Plan, which includes a goal to achieve net-zero emissions from federal buildings by 2045.

The IRA funds will be used to complete three construction projects: the relocation of both the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) headquarters and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters to the St. Elizabeths campus, as well as building a new 1,500-space parking garage.


This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the DHS, originally comprised of 22 separate agencies that were unified under a single department. In 2007, DHS announced plans to relocate its headquarters to the St. Elizabeths campus, and the U.S. Coast Guard became the first agency to move there in 2010.

These three new construction projects will further consolidate DHS leadership and agencies to one main headquarters. The projects will provide additional office space for approximately 6,500 personnel, allowing St. Elizabeths to house more than 12,000 DHS employees.

Full execution of the DHS campus consolidation effort will reduce total headquarters locations from 40 to six, reducing the DHS footprint in the National Capital Region by over 1.2 million square feet—27.5 acres of land, the equivalent of 21 football fields—and saving taxpayers $1.3 billion over the next 30 years.

“Locating more of our agencies together enables the Department of Homeland Security to be more cohesive, efficient, and effective. The Inflation Reduction Act funding announced today will help our department fulfill its mission to keep our country safe,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “These projects will save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually and model modern environmental and sustainability standards.”


GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said, “With this project, we’re modeling a comprehensive approach to sustainability in the federal footprint.”

As part of the Biden administration’s Buy Clean Initiative to encourage investment in clean construction materials, the DHS projects will use low-embodied carbon concrete, steel, and asphalt for new construction, as well as repairs and reinforcement of existing structures.

Technology investments are slated to include LED lighting, direct digital control building automation systems, solar energy panels, occupancy and indoor air quality sensors, advanced meters/submeters, and a water-smart irrigation system. These efforts are expected to help avoid thousands of metric tons of embodied carbon emissions.

The GSA provided a breakdown of the three projects:

  • CISA HQ: Estimated $140.8 million IRA investment for the construction of a new 629,595 square-foot, LEED Gold facility. Construction is expected to start in early 2024.
  • ICE HQ: Estimated $80.8 million IRA investment for the construction of a new all-electric, 570,000 square-foot LEED Gold facility. Construction is expected to start in late 2024.
  • DHS Garage and Gatehouse: Estimated $67 million IRA investment for the construction of new employee and visitor vehicle processing infrastructure, security checkpoints, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and 1,500-space garage built with reinforced low-embodied concrete.

GSA also signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Potomac Electric Power Co. (Pepco). Through the MOU, GSA will work with the utility to plan the infrastructure upgrades needed to install EV charging stations and electrification projects at the St. Elizabeths campus and across the District of Columbia.

GSA, one of the country’s largest landlords, revealed plans in June to use nearly $1 billion in IRA funding to upgrade federal buildings across the country with emerging and sustainable technologies. In addition to these DHS projects, GSA most recently announced $11 million in IRA funding for the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City.

Photos courtesy of DHS Secretary Mayorkas’ official X account

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