WIESBADEN, Germany -- The Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray Cyber Center Europe was recognized as the Army's newest green building at a LEED Gold plaque unveiling ceremony June 27 on Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design, is an internationally recognized program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Gold is the second highest rating a project can receive after platinum. The Gray Center is the first Department of Defense building in Europe and the first throughout the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command to achieve a LEED Gold rating.

The Gray Cyber Center makes use of several energy-efficient features, including a state-of-the-art electrical and thermal co-generation unit, that allows it to achieve about 42 percent in energy savings each year, or about $500,000.

"The building uses 47 percent less potable water and 78 percent of the construction waste has been diverted from landfill. These are big numbers that make a real difference to our environment," said Kay Killmann, president of the German Green Building Association.

"This is remarkable, especially for an energy intensive building such as a data center," Killmann said.

The Gray Cyber Center is named after Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray, a former U.S. Army Europe deputy commander and Chief of Signal. The 52,000 square-foot facility manages and defends the U.S. Army's communications network throughout Europe and Africa.

"It is only fitting to have some of the most technically proficient teams executing the Army's cyber operations and initiatives in one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly facilities," said Maj. Roberto Santiago, Gray Cyber Center director of operations.

Albin Toth, an architect who helped design the Gray Cyber Center, said his team looked for opportunities to maximize energy efficiency in every design decision.

"We didn't spend more money to achieve gold, it was just the result of a very efficient design," Toth said.

Col. Jimmy L. Hall Jr. commander of 5th Signal Command (Theater) and the U.S. Army Europe chief information officer/G6, described the project as a leading example of the Army's Energy Security and Sustainability Strategy published last year.

"We also recognize this initiative as an important achievement in interoperability and partnership," Hall said.

He said interoperability isn't limited to military capacity, but also builds partnerships with government and industry, and works together to have a positive effect on the environment.

"This is a testament to U.S. Army 5th Signal Command's dedication to investing in your Soldiers, Civilians and their environment. Furthermore, it shows that the U.S. Army is committed to building sustainable military engineering solutions while working closely with host nation building counterparts," Killmann said.

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5th Signal Command (Theater) builds, operates and defends network capabilities to enable mission command and create tactical, operational and strategic flexibility for the Army, joint and multinational forces in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility.

2nd Signal Brigade builds, operates and defends Mission Command System and networks to support unified action anytime, anywhere.