Oct. 2, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Campus Notebook: AOC Looks Into Solar Panels for Hart

The Architect of the Capitol is replacing the roof on the Hart Senate Office Building, and as part of an effort to become more energy efficient, the AOC might look at installing solar panels.

Last year, the AOC diverted Congress’ trash from landfills to a waste-to-energy facility; it is awaiting approval to use “cogeneration” to create heat and electricity simultaneously at the Capitol Power Plant.

In that vein, the agency is “exploring options,” according to spokeswoman Eva Malecki, regarding “installing more energy efficient and sustainable components as part of a planned roof replacement.”

The AOC has requested $11.3 million to replace the roof and fall protection systems of the building. The project would be overseen by an outside contractor. Some media reports suggested a contract would be awarded based on whether a company could incorporate solar panels or other sustainability components. Malecki, however, emphasized that with legislative branch offices fighting for scarce resources, the AOC would prioritize roof construction, with solar panels “purely conceptual at this time.” 

Besides, even the timeline for just putting up a new roof has been stalled. The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a fiscal 2013 legislative branch appropriations bill allocating the $11.3 million request. But before it could move through the legislative pipeline, both chambers opted to abandon regular order and freeze current funding levels until March through a continuing resolution.

GPO Releases Five-Year Plan

The Government Printing Office unveiled a 12-page blueprint Monday to carry the agency through the next five years as it inevitably shifts toward a “paperless age.”

“As the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies and the public have changed, GPO has embraced technological innovations,” acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks wrote in her introduction to the strategic plan. “We will continue to adapt ... as we transform ourselves into the official, digital information platform for the federal government.” 

To meet these new needs, the GPO from 2013 to 2017 will more fully adopt a “content centric” business model, where employees will create and format documents that are designed to live on an electronic platform rather than in print form. 

The office is also planning to redesign its website and develop a tool that will allow all GPO data to be offered online in XML format, which allows users to export or download disparate data simultaneously.

Many of the other goals listed in the strategic plan appear to be continuations of ongoing efforts, such as conducting frequent customer satisfaction surveys and developing mobile Web applications. 

A Mayoral Proclamation

Friday will be bittersweet for Ilir Zherka, the executive director of DC Vote who will be stepping down after a decade of service.

Mayor Vincent Gray plans to issue a proclamation designating Oct. 26 as “Ilir Zherka Day.” Gray made the announcement — a surprise to Zherka and his colleagues — last week during DC Vote’s annual awards dinner. The proclamation will call on D.C. residents to recognize Zherka for his contributions and accomplishments during his tenure at the group.

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