By Carlos LazoApril 5, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- On military installations throughout the nation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has built hangars, fire stations, barracks and homes in a sustainable, energy-saving way, saving taxpayer dollars and working in collaboration with other federal agencies and partners.
At Dugway Proving Ground -- a U.S. Army installation in Utah -- 20 new homes built by the Corps are not only meeting energy-saving standards, they're exceeding them.
The homes were designed to reach a gold rating under LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, standards, according to Doug Bullock, a construction representative with the Corps' Sacramento District.
LEED is an internationally-recognized green building program that provides green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Thanks to thoughtful planning and using new innovations in technology, the homes obtained the highest rating in LEED: platinum.
"All the homes down here have ground source heat pumps. That allows us to draw the cool during the summer out of the ground and heat during the winter time," said Bullock.
Meeting lighting needs provided another avenue for reaching a platinum rating.
"We have solar tubes installed in all the houses. You have sun hitting these tubes that reflect in the rooms and light them naturally, so you don't have to turn on any additional power," said Bullock.
The homes are broken up into single and duplex units.
The project entailed eight single-level homes; four duplexes of three and four bedroom houses; and three single-level houses on colonel's hill for the command staff, said Bullock. Soldiers began moving into their new homes in mid-2012.
Reducing energy dependence, increasing energy efficiency, and adopting renewable and alternative energy sources are just some of the ways the Corps continues to support the Army and the nation in achieving energy security and its sustainability goals.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers strives to protect, sustain, and improve the natural and man-made environment of our nation, and is committed to compliance with applicable environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders. Sustainability is not only part of the Corps' decision processes, but is also part of its culture.