ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 82 - 11/17/2010

Army Adopts New Policy for Green Buildings

The U.S. Army has adopted a new policy in an effort to improve its standards for high-performance green buildings. Energy savings resulting from the new policy are expected to total 45 percent over buildings built to current standards, according to the military branch.


Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, Oct. 27 issued the new policy memorandum, entitled "Memorandum for Sustainable Design and Development Policy Update (Environmental and Energy Performance) (Revision)." The memo is intended to change the way the Army will approach efficient design of Army facilities. Requirements throughout the planning, programming, budgeting, design, and building stages are expected to strengthen the Army's sustainability, energy security, and energy independence through more responsible consumption and planning.



"Incorporation of sustainable design and development principles, following guidance as detailed in American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 189.1, will reduce water and energy consumption, optimize energy efficiencies and performance, and reduce negative impacts on the natural environment," the Army stated. "Through strategies such as siting, cool roofs, solar water heating, stormwater management, and water efficiency, we will reduce our impact on the environment. Options will be investigated and documented for each project to evaluate our ability to utilize renewable and alternative power sources on our installations in a fashion that is compatible with training missions."


Commissioning, measurement, and third-party verification are also required to track progress and identify opportunities for further improvement. Life-cycle cost analyses will be mandatory to promote best business practices.


While the overall benefits gained through efficiencies and reduced consumption will vary based on location, buildings in compliance with the new policy are expected to yield significant energy savings for the Army over current construction standards, the Army stated. "Preliminary analysis by the Army Corps of Engineers indicates energy savings over current design of 45 percent or greater."


The Army also recently adopted a policy requiring light bulbs such as compact fluorescent lamps to be more efficient than standard bulbs.


The second policy, outlined in the "Memorandum on the Utilization of Efficient Lighting," aims to completely replace all inefficient incandescent lighting on Army installations within five years.


New efficient lighting will use 3-5 times less electricity than an incandescent bulb over the same period, according to the Army. When older installed bulbs burn out and the Army's existing inventory is depleted, only efficient light bulbs may be purchased.


Compact-fluorescent bulbs require significantly less energy to produce the same amount of light, and they need replacement six times less often, the Army said. The memo establishes policy and guidance to use only efficient light bulbs that meet standards outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires the manufacture of energy-efficient light bulbs, with efficiency standards phasing in between 2012 and 2014.


An Army spokesperson did not immediately respond to Green Building Insider's request for additional information.




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