WIESBADEN, Germany -- The construction of the Grafenwoehr Post Exchange-Commissary facility in September 2007, which boasted a gold rating for its environmental friendliness and energy efficiency, set the standard for Defense Commissary Agency facilities.

But soon, new facilities at Ansbach and Ramstein Air Base will provide a new benchmark in the construction of DeCA facilities.

According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District, which is managing construction on the projects, and DeCA officials, the $21.5 million Ansbach facility will be the greenest commissary to date due to the energy-saving features and sustainable initiatives being designed into the building.

"The new commissary in Ansbach will result in a modern, state-of-the-art facility that will greatly enhance the shopping experience of the Soliders, family members and other shoppers in the Ansbach community," said Mickey McCartney, a construction project manager with DeCA's Directorate of Performance and Policy, Facilities Construction, and Sustainment Division.

Scheduled to be complete in 2013, the 46,000 square-foot facility will include features such as water-efficient landscaping, high-efficiency heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, enhanced freezer and cooler insulation, interior and exterior motion-sensor, energy-efficient light controls, and monitoring and control systems for refrigeration, HVAC, lighting and utility metering.

"Building the commissary as a sustainable facility enables us to use creative methods for reducing the building's energy consumption during all phases of the life cycle so that we minimize its effects on the environment," said Rosanna Alcantara, Europe District's Program Manager at Ansbach.

But what makes this facility stand out from its predecessors, she said, is the planned green roof, which helps reduce storm water runoff and improve insulation, photosensor light controls that dim indoor lighting based on daylight, and solar panels to provide photovoltaic power generation.

"By constructing these environmentally-friendly facilities, not only are the Corps and DeCA being environmental stewards, we are also being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars," Alcantara said.

The Anbach commissary comes at the heels of the nearby PassivhAfA$user (passive houses) under construction at the Urlas Training Area's new housing community. These "super" energy-efficient homes are designed to consume one-fourth of the energy used by Germany's Energy Saving Ordinance homes and recycle roughly 92 percent of waste heat from appliances and fixtures around the house.

The 22 passive houses are part of the $106 million family housing project being managed by the Europe District that will deliver more than 200 new homes to the garrison.

Meanwhile, Ramstein's commissary will receive a $29 million facelift, including the addition of environmentally-friendly improvements, that will increase the store's capacity by almost 50 percent, according to McCartney. The commissary is scheduled to be complete in late 2012.

The 44,000 square-foot facility incorporates sustainable features similar to the Ansbach commissary, said Dietmar Wittmann, a Europe District program manager. These features include high-efficiency HVAC systems, enhanced freezer and cooler insulation, auto-sensor fixtures, skylights with daylight harvesting electronic light controls, motion-sensor light controls, and refrigeration monitoring and control systems.

"DeCA is committed to reducing their carbon footprint and we are proud to be a part of the team helping to make that happen," Wittmann said.

According DeCA's website, building energy-efficient stores as well as monitoring and reducing energy consumption help are part of the agency's "Go Green" corporate initiative.

"We are committed to being an environmental leader in the food marketing industry. Everyone benefits from these initiatives - customers, our installation partners, the Defense Commissary Agency, and most importantly, the environment," said DeCA Director and Chief Executive Officer Philip E. Sakowitz Jr. on DeCA's website.

In addition the Ansbach and Ramstein facilities, the district also anticipates initiating design on new commissaries in Spangdahlem and Wiesbaden.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16