By Brian Schlumbohm, Fort Wainwright PAOJuly 26, 2013
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Construction presently taking place on and along the south side of Fort Wainwright's airfield has been ongoing for some time with the building of two new hangars placed on either side of Fort Wainwright's Fire Station One.
Hangar project 348a, located east of the fire station, granted funding in May 2011 and now nearing completion, will be ready for use this fall.
The hangar, designed for the maintenance of assault aircraft such as the OH-58D Kiowa and the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, incorporates energy saving designs in an area of over 135,000 square feet.
Hangar project 357, presently being constructed to the west of the fire station, is designed to be a general aircraft hangar for UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook aircraft maintenance. This hangar project was awarded funding in May 2012 and has an expected completion date around October 2014. When finished, it will have over 159,000 square feet of maintenance and office area.
Engineer John Wentz with the Department of Public Works Engineering Design Branch has worked on these projects and feels they will have both a significant improvement to the working environment for the Soldiers and a cost savings in the day-to-day operating expense of the facilities to the Army.
"The intent of the hangars is to support the troops and their mission and to provide a climate-controlled environment where the troops can perform their work efficiently," Wentz said. The hangars being built now have advanced technology integrated into their design and construction.
Both hangars will be energy efficient in both installation value and electrical use. The walls are rated at R-60 and the roof at R-90; the hangar doors will be highly insulated as well.
According to energy.gov, a six-inch log wall has an insulation value of just over eight. To put this into perspective, the insulation value of the roof alone would be comparable to a roof made of wood over four feet thick.
Added to the insulation value of the structures, the hangars also incorporate photovoltaic systems and translucent wall panels to lessen their electrical use.
The hangars are designed to reduce energy costs 30 to 40 percent of present standards.
"We have energy management control systems inside these hangars comparable to anything you would find in the Lower 48," Wentz said. "Actually in Alaska, a lot of the engineering, a lot of the design work -we're on the cutting edge of because of the extreme temperatures we have up here."
Wentz explained that over the life of a building, the expense does not come from the cost of construction alone, but from the cost of operating the facility throughout the years. The extreme climate of Interior Alaska calls for dependable, robust heating and lighting systems which allow the mission to continue no matter the temperature during the long, dark winter months.