Nearly 250 new homes in both North and South regions to be available soon

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Nov. 29, 2013) -- Four thousand ninety-seven, and counting.

This is the number of military families now living in a newly constructed Island Palm Communities (IPC) home at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, with an additional 2,200 families living in a renovated home.

The development is part of the Army's 15-year initial plan to build 5,241 new homes, community centers and amenities and renovate 2,515 existing homes.

"It's great to see that the vision of our IPC partnership to 'Create the Best Places' is being realized and families are benefiting from it," said Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, USAG-HI.

"Seeing thousands of families enjoying their homes and communities demonstrates we have our priorities in place and are truly taking care of our service members," Whitney stated.

IPC's initial development is more than halfway complete, and families continue to move into new and renovated homes each month. Many homes are highly desirable four- and five-bedroom units and available both here and at Aliamanu Military Reservation.

The Hibiscus Neighborhood, located in the Aliamanu community, recently welcomed families into the first group of 137 new homes, which were to be completed last month.

"Our experience with the staff was absolutely wonderful," said new resident Maj. Michael Post, distribution and integration branch chief, Support Operations, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

"They kept us informed about our new home, and it's beautiful, well worth the wait," Post said.

Air Force Maj. Shannon Moore and his family were very happy with their home and move-in experience as well. Moore has been in the military for 13 years, and his father-in-law retired from the Air Force, so his wife has been part of military housing her whole life.

"The AMR housing complex is by far the most beautiful, well-constructed neighborhood both of us have ever seen," said Moore. "Our kids from day one have been playing safely in the neighborhood, with great neighbors and a safe environment. We feel very blessed to be in this home."

Nearly 250 new homes in both North and South regions will become available through January 2014, and two to three dozen homes will be completed every month in the North at Schofield Barracks between February and June 2014.

More green initiatives on the horizon

When IPC's initial development is complete in 2020, it will be one of the largest solar-powered communities in the world, with nearly 30 percent of its energy needs supported through renewable energy.

"We're fortunate to have a talented development team and strong Army leadership in Hawaii that can provide the experience and support needed to help meet important Department of Defense energy goals," said Pete Sims, IPC project director.

"When our initial development is complete, more than 7,800 families will make IPC their home," Sims said, "so our families have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact on the local environment."

Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems play a big role in IPC's energy-efficiency plans, and they have been installed on new homes since construction started in 2005.

Over the past year, IPC has worked with solar provider SolarCity to install PV systems on existing homes. The first phase of PV installations in the Helemano Military Reservation community was recently completed, and SolarCity started installations this month on homes at Fort Shafter Flats.

In 2014, IPC plans to add more than 2.5 megawatts of PV systems on existing homes, bringing it closer to its goal of generating up to 18 megawatts of power.

With a certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for neighborhood developments achieved at Simpson Wisser on Fort Shafter, IPC continues to pursue new technologies to gain maximum energy efficiency.

A 30-home pilot project to explore Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) will get underway in 2014. Initial plans include testing smart thermostats that can detect movement and a human being's heat signature. The system also can monitor performance of air-conditioning and solar hot-water systems by communicating temperature differentials and mechanical operation reliability.

Energy savings are estimated between 10-20 percent; the pilot will help quantify potential savings.