LEED Sustainability: A key component of Belvoir BRAC
September 9, 2010
FORT BELVOIR, Va. - As Fort Belvoir and other posts prepared for the monumental task of implementing the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure recommendations, the Department of the Army continued to improve its policy for sustainable design and development.
The end result of these endeavors is several billion dollars of new construction to be designed and built to accommodate the influx of personnel realigning to the post, built with new and improved standards in energy and environmental design.
In 2006, the Army announced it would transition to using the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Green Building Rating System and require most vertical military construction projects to meet standards for "Silver" level using the New Construction and Major Renovations, LEED-NC rating system.
"The BRAC projects that are being constructed on Fort Belvoir property in Virginia are utilizing LEED-NC version 2.2, which measures projects on a 69-point scale and includes four possible certification levels - Certified (26-32 points), Silver (33-38 points), Gold (39-51 points), and Platinum (52-69 points)," explained Fort Belvoir Deputy Garrison Commander for Transformation and BRAC Col. Mark Moffatt. "Points are assigned on the basis of whether a project achieves specified credits within six categories, including sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; and innovation and design process."
"The projects have to meet the LEED Silver standard, but they do not have to seek official certification from the U.S. Green Building Council," said Ann Johnson, Belvoir Integration Office. "The individual customers can move forward on this to officially earn the titles of LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum."
The Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, being managed by the USACE Norfolk District, is a state-of-the-art, community hospital being constructed on Fort Belvoir's Main Post. The facility will use evidence-based design and patient-family centered care in a culture of excellence at this premiere military medical facility, according to the hospital's leadership. The 1.275-million square foot hospital complex will include 120 inpatient beds and capacity to deliver comprehensive healthcare services.
"The complex is being designed and constructed to achieve 37 points and meet LEED Silver certification," according to USACE's Richard Partlow. "Compared to a typical hospital, the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital will consume approximately 30 percent less energy ..."
Several strategies will be used to reduce water consumption, including using a rainwater and condensate collection system, which will direct water from the swooped roofs to two underground cisterns that will hold 160,000 gallons. The water will be reused to irrigate the on-site landscaping, according to Greg Fleming, Fort Belvoir BRAC Operations Office.
A majority of the construction waste from the project is being recycled. To date, approximately 90 percent of the construction debris, including concrete, wood, cardboard, paper, and drywall, has been diverted from disposal in landfills and incinerators to recycling facilities.
Francesca Firek, USACE, explains "A strong emphasis is also being placed on indoor environmental quality. Several features, including the use of ultraviolet technology; carbon dioxide monitoring; high-efficiency, particulate-arresting filtration; individual lighting and thermal controls; low volatile organic compound materials and furniture; and green cleaning procedures will promote health and comfort for patients, families and staff."
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Campus East facility is being managed by the USACE, Baltimore District. Being constructed on FBNA, this 2.4-million square foot facility will include a main office building, technology center, central utility plant, visitor control center and remote inspection facility.
"At this time, the project is on track to achieve 38 points and officials intend to seek LEED Silver certification, which would make it the largest LEED-certified federal facility in the country. The project includes innovative technologies, such as the use of a chilled beam heating and cooling system and an Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene transparent roofing system, which will reduce the amount of energy consumed," said Lou Brune, NGA spokesperson.
"Other energy-efficient and environmentally responsible strategies include the collection and reuse of storm water runoff for irrigation, which will reduce the amount of water consumed, as well as the incorporation of sustainable materials, vegetative or green roofs, and water-efficient landscaping."
The DoD Office Complex often referred to by its recommendation number of BRAC 133, is being constructed on Belvoir's Mark Center property in Alexandria. The 1.8-million square foot facility will be for DoD personnel who currently occupy leased space elsewhere in the National Capital Region.
Although the application of stringent antiterrorism/force protection requirements presented certain challenges relative to the integration of green building measures, the project intends to achieve 43 points and meet LEED Gold certification. Upon completion, the facility will consume approximately 30 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than comparable office buildings. In addition to energy efficiency and water savings, certain measures related to indoor environmental quality and sustainable site design are also being incorporated, according to USACE's Joanne Hensley.
In a recent article, Hensley explains that examples of the strategies include the use of light-emitting diode and fluorescent lighting, which are more energy efficient than incandescent lighting; installing green roofs, which will provide insulation and help alleviate the heat island effect; and a green screen. The use of low-flow plumbing fixtures and drought-resistant, native plants, and the absence of landscape irrigation, will help promote water efficiency.
The Joint-Use Intelligence Analysis Facility, a 170,500-square foot facility at Rivanna Station in Charlottesville, provides enhanced capabilities to the Defense Intelligence Agency and its partners in the intelligence community in a facility that includes a new access control point and visitor center.
According to USACE's Terry Deglandon, the current LEED assessment indicates that the project is tracking 38 points, three points above the LEED Silver certification level. Green building strategies incorporated in the design and construction of the project included reducing wastewater, optimizing energy performance, and recycling virtually all construction waste.
"Examples of some of the measures taken under the LEED envelope include the application of dense spray-on foam applications to the exterior structural walls and wall panels to provide a better infiltration, thermal, and moisture barrier protection to the building envelope, and the 'no mowing' planting of wildflowers over extensive areas of the grounds that would normally have been turf," said Laura Donnelly, DIA spokesperson. "Each of these measures will save consumable energy and enhance overall sustainability and maintainability."
A 99,000-square foot headquarters command center for the Missile Defense Agency managed by the USACE Baltimore District is being constructed on Fort Belvoir's South Post. The project is currently tracking 35 points and intends to pursue LEED Silver certification, according Rachael Polich, MDA.
Some of the methods used by MDA to achieve the credits include installing an underground storm water retention system; providing 12 parking spaces for low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles; and diverting about 86 percent of construction waste from landfills. The site will not contain a permanent irrigation system. The current energy model shows 14 percent energy savings and the project aims to reduce water use by 30 percent, Polich said.