Paging Ron Paul: Once you're done transforming the U.S. into a neo-feudal patriarchy whose fiefs are ruled by their respective John Galts, you could make a huge dent in whatever government spending is left by simply making the feds' buildings "green."

That's the conclusion of a new report [PDF] from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL evaluated 22 green federal buildings, and found that when compared to the average commercial building, they:

  • Cost 19 percent less to maintain
  • Used 25 percent less energy
  • Consumed 11 percent less water 
  • Emitted 34 percent less carbon dioxide
  • Had occupants who were 27 percent more satisfied

A few buildings were standouts. The U.S. courthouse in downtown Seattle, for example, has radiant floor heating, efficient lighting, an energy management system, and waterless urinals. Its operating costs are 35 percent lower than comparable commercial structures.