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Posted 9/14/2016

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By Al Barrus
Omaha District

The White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Office of Federal Sustainability hosted the 2016 GreenGov Presidential Awards, recognizing 12 agencies, individuals or facilities from across the U.S. Federal Government. The award ceremony took place September 7th at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The “Building the Future” award went to the Project Delivery Team for the 4th Infantry Division’s Aviation Support Battalion’s new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified helicopter maintenance hangar located in Fort Carson, Colorado.

The award ceremony recognized federal employees who were involved in the project delivery, including employees from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Omaha District’s Military project managers, Construction Division and Design Branch. The Building the Future Award recognizes a project that exhibits excellence in sustainability as demonstrated by the achievement of policy and performance goals from the 2009 Executive Order 13693, which includes the guiding principles for high performance sustainable buildings.

The ASB’s new helicopter maintenance hangar was awarded the LEED Platinum certification in 2015: this level of LEED certification is especially difficult to achieve for high-performance buildings. This marks the first time since the Reagan Administration that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Omaha District project earned an award from the Executive Branch of the federal government.

“What’s amazing about this hangar is that it potentially produces more electricity than it consumes,” said Brian Nohr, Omaha District’s Sustainability Coordinator. “Achieving Net Zero for any residential building or an office building is a challenge on its own: this hangar is a high-performance, industrial-type maintenance facility.”

The U.S. Army’s Net Zero initiative began in 2011 to focus on energy as well as water and waste procedures, according to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. While many installations were selected for Net Zero in either energy, water or waste, only Fort Carson and Fort Bliss, Texas were selected to achieve Net Zero in all three categories by 2020.

Many aspects that helped this hangar achieve the Platinum rating and GreenGov Presidential award came from innovative technology implemented by the project delivery team and contractors, which includes low-flow fixtures for water, efficient building envelope for savings on heating and cooling, and light-emitting diodes to save on lighting.

“It utilizes new reliable technology to help save on energy and water,” said Nohr. “It has transpired solar walls: those are exterior metal panels on the building’s shell that are painted black. All year round when the sun shines on those panels, the sun’s rays heat up the air between the black metal panels and the hangar’s main structure.

“When it’s cold, they open the damper system and ventilate that warm air to the interior of the hangar and heat up the place for free. Heating without electricity or fuel.”

Fort Carson GreenGov sustainability