The United States General Services Administration held a re-dedication ceremony on Wednesday for the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building and Courthouse.
The ceremony follows a $15M renovation project to increase the building's energy efficiency.
Officials are trying to preserve the history of the facility and give the building a fresh new feel. They said it's a bit of a balancing act between history and modern technology.
The innovative technology could turn a 95-year-old building into an electric utility by having it produce as much energy as it uses.
Project coordinators said the facility is already 50% more energy efficient than a typical office building.
"If everything goes according to the way we plan it, this will be the first net-zero federal building in the United States on the Historic Register," said Susan Damour, regional administrator for the U.S.G.S.A..
KJCT caught up with former U.S. Senator and current Regent for the University of Colorado, Tillie Bishop, at Wednesday's ceremony. Bishop gave the invocation for the re-dedication.
"The renovation is beautiful. The building itself for almost 100 years, made a statement in our community," said Bishop.
"Putting the renovation and the update on it, the services that it puts out for the people, just makes it a wonderful facility in our community, we're fortunate to have it," Bishop added.
Several cutting edge technologies are being implemented. To make the building more energy-efficient, special lightning can sense the natural light levels and adjust or shut off accordingly.
Also, the system can tell if there are occupants in the room and it's operated by radio signal as opposed to the more inefficient copper wire.
A state-of-the-art geothermal technology known as a ground-source heat pump will use the earth's natural temperature to help regulate the temperature inside the building.
These pumps are below existing parking on the north and east sides of the building. This will help control the interior temperature of the building which makes for a large portion of the building's normal energy use.
Geothermal technology has been in use in Western Colorado for decades and this is part of the reason the building in Grand Junction was chosen.
Finally, to pick up the rest of the building's energy use, photovoltaic solar panels are to be placed on the roof, using the sun to generate energy.
If the goal of net-zero energy becomes a reality, the federal building will produce 100% of its energy needed throughout the year.
The renovation project was paid for using federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Restoration Act.