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Army Announces New Policies on Energy Efficiencies

From a U.S. Army News Release

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2010 – Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment Katherine Hammack issued today a new policy memorandum to improve high-performance green buildings standards for the Army.

"Energy security, sustainability and efficiency are national security imperatives," said Hammack. "This policy supports the Army's global missions in a cost-effective, safe and sustainable manner that will benefit Army soldiers, families and the entire nation."

The Memorandum for Sustainable Design and Development Policy Update (Environmental and Energy Performance) (Revision), changes the way the Army will approach efficient design of Army facilities. Requirements throughout the planning, programming, budgeting, design and building stages will strengthen the Army's sustainability, energy security and energy independence through more responsible consumption and planning.

Incorporation of sustainable design and development principles, following guidance as detailed in American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard 189.1, will reduce water and energy consumption, optimize energy efficiencies and performance, and reduce negative impacts on the natural environment. Through strategies such as siting, cool roofs, solar water heating, storm water management and water efficiency, the Army will reduce its impact on the environment. Options will be investigated and documented for each project to evaluate the Army's ability to utilize renewable and alternative power sources on its installations in a fashion that is compatible with training missions.

Commissioning, measurement and third-party verification also are required to track progress and identify opportunities for further improvement. Lifecycle-cost analyses will be mandatory to promote best business practices.

The Army's commitment to sustainable design and development extends beyond construction or renovation savings, Hammack said. "High-performance buildings are critical to cost effective life cycle management of our infrastructure and national energy security,” she continued. “Maintaining access to vital resources, including energy, water and the environment is vital for accomplishing the Army's global missions."

While the overall benefits gained through efficiencies and reduced consumption will vary based on location, buildings in compliance with the new policy are expected to yield significant energy savings for the Army over current construction standards. Preliminary analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates energy savings over current design of 45 percent or greater.

Hammack also issued today a Memorandum on the Utilization of Efficient Lighting to reduce energy consumption and reduce adverse impacts to the environment. The memo establishes policy and guidance to use only efficient light bulbs that meet standards outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. EISA requires the manufacture of energy efficient light bulbs, with efficiency standards phasing in between 2012 and 2014. It also requires the use of energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs in buildings constructed by the General Services Administration.

The Army also announced that all light bulbs acquired for use in facilities and structures owned, leased or controlled by the Army must meet higher energy efficiency standards. The goal is a complete replacement of all incandescent lighting on Army installations within five years. New efficient lighting will use 3-5 times less electricity than an incandescent bulb over the same period.

"Lighting efficiency improvements present a clear opportunity to decrease energy consumption, which is a priority for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and for the entire federal government," said Hammack. "It's been over 130 years since Thomas Edison gave birth to the world's first practical incandescent light bulb, and we're undeniably overdue for a jump forward."

In order for the Army to capture energy efficiency savings consistent with these provisions, the new policy requires the use of the light bulbs as soon as possible. When installed bulbs fail and existing inventory is depleted, only efficient light bulbs may be purchased. Compact fluorescent lights require significantly less energy to produce the same amount of light, and need replacement six times less often. This means a profound reduction in electricity, maintenance and labor costs.


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