DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah - Dugway Proving Ground's new housing project, Reneau Court, received national-level kudos from the Assistant Secretary of the Army Installation, Energy and Environment, for Installations, Energy and Environment Katherine Hammack July 26, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, for earning the prestigious platinum certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
The housing project was designed by a joint team of the Army's Corp of Engineers in the Sacramento, Calif., District and the Dugway garrison. The integrated design, bid and build procurement process was overseen by the USACE, which fast-tracked the process and allowed it to be completed in about 18 months. Construction services were provided by Diversified Maintenance Systems, a woman-owned general contracting firm based in Salt Lake City.
"This effort represents a significant move that is critical to the Army's mission and essential to the nation to provide energy efficient military housing, which will reduce costs and save resources," Hammack said. "This is a showpiece for green housing construction and our commitment to Net Zero communities. It's a great start toward this goal."
The Army's Net Zero program is part of a push to help Army installations become more energy independent users. The quality of the construction shows in the dozens of innovative "green" design and building strategies, which contribute to earning the platinum certification.
The LEED consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods that measures building sustainability with four levels of certification: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each progressive level requires more features in water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality that will operate on lower costs to increase its value to the Army.
Capt. Michael Beck, project engineer of new housing, said this was a good opportunity to be part of a leading edge that directs future military housing projects. All of the homes have Energy Star appliances and windows, but the real energy efficiency comes from the increased insulation, natural landscaping and ground climate control system.
"Originally the early project plans were aimed at the silver certification, but during the building phase it was clear that the gold, and later the platinum, rating could be reached," said John Craig, Dugway's director of public works. "We were all very excited when we realized this could be done at no additional cost to the government."
Col. William Leady, district commander, Sacramento district, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that having talented teams come together made the platinum certification possible.
"My team loves to work with the staff at Dugway. Together, we were on time and on
budget and that's not something that just happens. But it's not just about budgets, it's also about a commitment to Army Families. These are 20 quality homes that any family would be excited to move into," Leady said.
"The LEED platinum recognition shows our commitment to build the finest facilities for the men and women serving our nation," said Audy Snodgrass, Dugway's garrison manager. 'It is also our pledge to sustainable housing and the environment. We are extremely proud of this effort."
Immediately following the ceremony, house keys were presented by Hammack and Col. A. Scott Estes, Dugway's commander, to Martita Studer, wife of Maj. Jonathan Studer, the liaison officer with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. They will occupy a house on Pronghorn Way. A second key was presented to Spc. Brandon Gray, of A Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, who will live in a duplex unit on Geode Circle.
After the ceremony, the secretary toured English Village housing, school and community areas accompanied by Estes and Snodgrass. Later, the tour moved to West Desert Test Center.
At WDTC, the secretary visited the Rapid Integration Acceptance Center where she saw the Hunter, Shadow and Warrior unmanned aircraft, the new power house with four recently installed generators, and the Aerosol Simulant Exercise Chamber in the Special Programs Biological Mission Support Facility. In the chamber she was given an overview of available detection technology and participated in a simulated biological sampling, which the secretary said was, "very cool."
The day finished at the Mortimer A. Rothenberg conference room for a working lunch. The secretary was briefed by the garrison environmental staff on potential energy initiatives such as solar, wind, propane costs, and geothermal projects.
The ultimate goal is to cut energy demand and eventually produce all the energy the installation uses on site, the secretary said, adding that "an energy-secure installation can still accomplish the mission even when the surrounding areas might not have power."
"Energy is a strategic issue," said Hammock during the briefing. "Strategically, energy is about economic, environmental and national security. We want to ensure that we can sustain the Army's resources on the installations. From what I've seen today at the housing project, and the test center let me just say: keep up the good work."