US Army Steps Up Requirements for Green Building, Lighting

WASHINGTON, DC — Cool roofs, solar water heating and advanced metering are among the energy efficiency elements that are to be incorporated into new permanent Army buildings in the U.S. and abroad.

Starting in fiscal year 2013, designs for new construction and major renovations are to incorporate the sustainable design and development principles contained in the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard 189.1.

The standard details strategies for siting, cool roofs, solar water heating, advanced metering, storm water management and energy and water efficiency that reduce the environmental impacts of buildings. All are to be considered and included in designs to the extent possible (in some climates, for example, cool roofs would not be practical or beneficial), according to Army policy announced last week.

The new policy also makes lifecycle analysis of major building systems and structural, mechanical, electrical and energy efficiency measures as well as building commissioning and verification mandatory.

Preliminary analysis by the Army Corps of Engineers indicates that the measures required by the new policy would yield energy savings of 45 percent or more compared to current design requirements.

Since 2008, the Army has required new construction and major renovation projects at permanent active Army installations, Army Reserve Centers, Army National Guard Facilities and Armed Forces Reserve Centers to attain green building certification of at least LEED-Silver. In three years, the new policy will be layered onto the LEED requirement.

A new lighting policy, also announced last week, is effectively immediately. As new lighting is installed or existing lights need to be replaced, light bulbs purchased for Army facilities are to meet the energy efficiency standards set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

The Army says its goal is a "complete replacement of all inefficient incandescent lighting on Army installations within five years." New, efficient lighting is expected to require three to five times less electricity than an incandescent bulb over the same period.

The new requirements are the latest examples of the Army's effort to shrink its environmental footprint and part of a Defense Department initiative to make U.S. military facilities and their operations more resource efficient.

Photo of the U.S. Army project to build its new headquarters in Europe by John Wutzer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District.